Mid Week Quote: Nelson Mandela

Hello!

This is my day late Mid Week Quote. I sadly forgot yesterday, I must get better at planning my posts.

My chosen quote this week is by Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) who was the South African President from 1994-1999. He was the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election.

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Nelson Mandela

Happy Reading

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WWW Wednesday: 29/09/2021

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!

The dissertation is finished and submitted. This has resulted in more reading, yay! On Sunday I finished a book, read a whole book in one sitting and started another and it was bliss.

What I am Currently Reading

I’m about a quarter of the way through The Night Hawks and so far so good. I do enjoy reading a story about Dr Galloway.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

Two excellent books. The Carter of La Providence is the book I finished in one sitting.

What I Think I will Read Next

So many books, I’m not sure what I will choose next. I’m so happy to have more time to read but I also know I have a lot of jobs that I need to do now the dissertation is finished. Mainly housework and decorating.

Please drop me a comment with your WWW Wednesday link and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The King’s Seal by Amy Kuivalainen (Review)

The King’s Seal by Amy Kuivalainen

Blurb

The search for the legendary ring of King Solomon has begun, and Penelope must sift through its long and convoluted history of lost emperors, crusaders, and other famous historical figures—including one with whom the magicians share their own complicated past— if she hopes to find it in time.

As Penelope’s magic continues to grow stronger with the coming high tide, she and Alexis will have to depend upon each other more than ever to keep everyone they care about safe from the continuing attacks by Thevetat’s priests.

When the magical high tide finally peaks, the long-awaited battle against Thevetat will begin, and Penelope, Alexis, and the magicians will have to rely on both powers of old and new if they hope to defeat their enemy once and for all.

Review

My first thought when I got this book was sadness because I did not want this to be the last book of the series. Thankfully, this book was just as good as the previous two books and I could not put it down. 

I will be honest I felt rushed with this book but that might be because I wanted a longer book. I just felt like all the answers the magicians needed suddenly arrived in quick succession. However, this might be because the magicians had the added help of Elazar and Constantine. 

Penelope and the magicians are on the trail of King Solomon’s ring and with their investigations they get some help from Constantine. Constantine is a brilliant character and really made me laugh but he is also a very thoughtful and deep thinking character. Constantine is a big help to the magicians and not because he is a good shoulder to cry on for Zo. 

Obviously the main characters are Penelope and Alexis but the secondary characters are just as strong. Zo is my favourite magician and I must admit I would have liked to see more of him in this book but at least he had a bigger part than Galenos who was barely in it. All the magicians have such fascinating pasts and are brilliant characters. I would love to have more stories about them.

The final battle came and went within a blink of an eye and I must admit was the rushed part for me and it did seem over simplified as I was expecting something big and spectacular but it was still good. I loved the book and couldn’t put it down. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

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Product Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(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 ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Amy Kuivalainen is a Finnish-Australian writer that is obsessed with magical wardrobes, doors, auroras and burial mounds that might offer her a way into another realm. Until then, she will write about fairy tales, monsters, magic and mythology because that’s the next best thing. She is the author of The Firebird Fairytales Trilogy and The Blood Lake Chronicles series that mash up traditional tales and mythology in new and interesting ways.

Reviews of books in the series

The Immortal City

The Sea of the Dead

Maigret Challenge

Happy Monday!

I have decided on another reading challenge. Yes, I know another one. I currently have the Agatha Christie and the Shakespeare challenges ongoing but I thought I would add the Maigret books by Georges Simenon in as well. There are a few reasons for this, firstly, I am collecting the rather lovely Penguin editions of the Maigret books, my husband is collecting the Folio Society editions. Secondly, I can easily read them in one sitting, so they don’t take a great deal of time to read and they do make me laugh. I find they are a rather useful distraction when the husband is watching the Grand Prix.

In total there are 75 books in the Penguin series and I have been reading them in the order Penguin gives. I have read three out of order because I read the Folio editions and those were the ones which got me hooked.

Anyway, here is the list. The ones ticked off are also linked to the reviews

  1. Pietr the Latvian
  2. The Late Monsieur Gallet
  3. The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien
  4. The Carter of La Providence
  5. The Yellow Dog
  6. Night at the Crossroads
  7. A Crime in Holland
  8. The Grand Banks Cafe
  9. A Man’s Head
  10. The Dancer at Gai-Moulin
  11. The Two-Penny Bar
  12. The Shadow Puppet
  13. The Saint-Fiacre Affair
  14. The Flemish House
  15. The Madman of Bergerac
  16. The Misty Harbour
  17. Liberty Bar
  18. Lock No.1
  19. Maigret
  20. Cecile is Dead
  21. The Cellars of the Majestic
  22. The Judge’s House
  23. Signed, Picpus
  24. Inspector Cadaver
  25. Felicie
  26. Maigret gets Angry
  27. Maigret in New York
  28. Maigret’s Holiday
  29. Maigret’s Dead Man
  30. Maigret’s First Case
  31. My Friend Maigret
  32. Maigret at the Coroner’s
  33. Maigret and the Old Lady
  34. Madame Maigret’s Friend
  35. Maigret’s Memoirs
  36. Maigret’s at Picratt’s
  37. Maigret Takes a Room
  38. Maigret and the Tall Woman
  39. Maigret, Lognon and the Gangsters
  40. Maigret’s Revolver
  41. Maigret and the Man on the Bench
  42. Maigret is Afraid
  43. Maigret’s Mistake
  44. Maigret Goes to School
  45. Maigret and the Dead Girl
  46. Maigret and the Minister/ Maigret and the Calame Report
  47. Maigret and the Headless Corpse
  48. Maigret Sets a Trap
  49. Maigret’s Failure
  50. Maigret Enjoys Himself
  51. Maigret Travels
  52. Maigret’s Doubts
  53. Maigret and the Reluctant Witnesses
  54. Maigret’s Secret
  55. Maigret in Court
  56. Maigret and the Old People
  57. Maigret and the Lazy Burglar
  58. Maigret and the Good People of Montparnasse
  59. Maigret and the Saturday Caller
  60. Maigret and the Tramp
  61. Maigret’s Anger
  62. Maigret and the Ghost
  63. Maigret Defends Himself
  64. Maigret’s Patience
  65. Maigret and the Nahour Case
  66. Maigret’s Pickpocket
  67. Maigret Hesitates
  68. Maigret in Vichy
  69. Maigret’s Childhood Friend
  70. Maigret and the Killer
  71. Maigret and the Wine Merchant
  72. Maigret’s Madwoman
  73. Maigret and the Loner
  74. Maigret and the Informer
  75. Maigret and Monsieur Charles

Just 69 books to go! I need to order the next ones though as I have now ran out.

Please drop me a message if you have read any of the Maigret books.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I can’t believe we are now in Autumn! Christmas is fast approaching and I am way behind on my reading challenge. Hopefully, I will be able to catch up.

Anyway here is what has been happening on the blog this week.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I’m flying through this as I’m enjoying it so much.

No books bought this week.

The dissertation gets handed in today so my reading will be increasing now I hope.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Friday Poetry: Melinno

Happy Friday!

I have gone for a poem by Melinno this week. Melinno is known only by her one extant poem, a Greek hymn to the goddess Roma. The date of Melinno is highly disputed, with suggestions varying by over four hundred years. Some argue she is from as early as the second century BC, others think as late as the second century AD.

The poem is in the style of Sappho, and might have been composed for a ritual.

Melinno's Hymn to Roma

Hail to Roma, the war-god's daughter
warrior queen in a golden girdle,
your Heaven here on earth, eternal
and unassailable.

On you alone, our ancient of days. 
Fate has bestowed this royal glory
of unbroken rule, sovereign strength
to lead where all follow.

For under your yoke, by your strong reins,
the great back of earth and foam-white seas
are bent; without a falter you steer
the cities of all men.

But time's great span can topple us all;
life sways us one way, then another
you alone sail on fair winds of rule
and never alter course.

For you alone have borne strong warriors,
great spearman, springing up unbidden
like Demeter's fruitful ears of corn,
a crop of mortal men.

Melinno

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

WWW Wednesday: 22/09/2021

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 don’t seem to have stopped so far this week and today I am back teaching at school so I will most likely be an exhausted puddle on the floor by the end of the day.

What I am Currently Reading

SPQR is currently on the back burner at the moment but I am still reading a few pages occasionally. The King’s Seal is by destress read and I must admit I am finding it hard to put down.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

I have just recently finished this and although I did struggle with a few sections I have definitely got the bug back and will be reading more books from The Vampire Chronicles soon. Review

What I Think I will Read Next

So many books to choose from. My dissertation will be finished soon and that will mean lots of binge reading.

Please drop me a comment if you want to chat about books and please leave your WWW Wednesday and I will pop over for a visit.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis by Anne Rice (Review)

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis by Anne Rice

Blurb

“In my dreams, I saw a city fall into the sea. I heard the cries of thousands. I saw flames that outshone the lamps of heaven. And all the world was shaken…” At the novel’s centre: the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, hero, leader, irresistible force, irrepressible spirit, battling (and ultimately reconciling with) a strange otherworldly form that has taken possession of his undead body and soul. This ancient and mysterious power and unearthly spirit of vampire lore has all the force, history and insidious reach of the unknowable Universe. It is through this spirit, previously considered benign for thousands of vampire years and throughout the Vampire Chronicles, that we come to be told the hypnotic tale of a great sea power of ancient times; a mysterious heaven on earth situated on a boundless continent – and of how and why this force came to build and rule the great legendary empire of centuries ago that thrived in the Atlantic Ocean. And as we learn of the mighty powers of this lost kingdom of Atalantaya, the lost realms of Atlantis, we come to understand its secrets, and how and why the vampire Lestat, indeed all the vampires, must reckon so many millennia later with the terrifying force of this ageless, all-powerful Atalantaya spirit. 

Review

It has been quite a few years since I have read one of the books from The Vampire Chronicles series but this one had been on my shelf for far too long. Firstly, it was quite clear that I have missed a few books in the series but that did not detract from the story. 

It took me a while to get back into the writing style of Anne Rice and I must admit it felt a bit different from the previous books I have read but maybe that was because I read them when I was a teenager. 

I loved the idea of the chateau that is the scene of the Vampire court and where Marius is making rules and laws for all the vampires to follow. The chateau is typical Lestat everything is sheer opulence and must be quite a site to be seen but it is also a sanctuary for the vampires young and old. 

Lestat is now extremely important to his fellow vampires and because of this he is protected at all costs. However, there is a threat to the vampire race and it all starts with this dream of a city falling into the sea that starts with Lestat and travels through the rest of the vampire race. 

The middle of this book is a chapter called Kapetria’s Tale and I must admit I almost gave up with the book at this point. It was very long winded and I really felt it did not need to be anywhere near as long as it was. I really wanted to know about Kapetria and her people but I sadly just found it boring and a big disappointment. Thankfully the book picked back up after this section. I really liked the rest of Kapetrai’s people but I will admit I did not like the character Kapetria in the end. I found her pushy and very unfeeling. 

I will definitely be reading more of The Vampire Chronicles because I would love to read about my favourite characters Lestat, Armand and Marius again. It would also be good to catch up on the books that I have missed from the series. Overall, I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons.

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Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(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 ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Anne Rice (born Howard Allen Frances O’Brien) is a best-selling American author of gothic, supernatural, historical, erotica, and later religious themed books. Best known for The Vampire Chronicles, her prevailing thematical focus is on love, death, immortality, existentialism, and the human condition. She was married to poet Stan Rice for 41 years until his death in 2002. Her books have sold nearly 100 million copies, making her one of the most widely read authors in modern history.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

Apologies this is a day late but the deadline to my dissertation is fast approaching so I have been busy focusing on the final touches.

Here is what I got up to on the blog last week.

Posts last Week

Currently Reading

Books Acquired

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Book Lover’s Bucket List: A Tour of Great British Literature by Caroline Taggart (Review)

The Book Lover’s Bucket List: A Tour of Great British Literature by Caroline Taggart

Blurb

Exploring the gardens, monuments, museums, and churches with walks both urban and rural, from the Brontë parsonage in Haworth to Zadie Smith’s North London and Shakespeare’s Stratford, The Book Lover’s Bucket List takes you through some 100 wonderfully described literary sites and landscapes, complete with colour destination photographs and illustrations from the British Library collections.

Start with Chaucer, Dickens, and Larkin in Westminster Abbey. Spend an afternoon at Colliers Wood Nature Reserve in Nottinghamshire and take in the lake D. H. Lawrence described as “all grey and visionary, stretching into the moist, translucent vista of trees and meadow.” Venture south to Cornwall and work your way up to the Scottish Highlands, taking detours to Northern Ireland in the west and Norfolk in the east.

There are gardens, monuments, museums, churches, and a surprising quantity of stained glass. There are walks both urban and rural, where you can explore real landscapes or imaginary haberdasher’s shops. There‘s the club where Buck’s Fizz was invented and a pub where you can eat Sherlock’s Steak & Ale Pie. And there’s a railway station where you can stroke the muzzle of one of the world’s most famous and endearing bears.

Wherever you are in the United Kingdom, you’re never far from something associated with a good book.

Review

My best friend bought this book for me and I have been dipping in and reading a few pages a day ever since. I have also been making a big list of the places I want to visit as well which has been worrying my husband. 

This book is divided up into sections for the different parts of Great Britain and each section has places of importance to different authors. The book tells you about the place and its history and what it is like now and whether you can visit it or not. There are also very handy websites listed for the places so you can investigate for yourself about a property. 

There are so many authors from Great Britain mentioned in this book and the places that meant something to them, whether it be where they wrote their great works or places mentioned in their works, or like Lyme Park where a famous adaptation of the book was filmed. Yes, the wet shirt of Mr Darcy was even mentioned in this book. 

Taggart’s writing is informative and funny and regularly made me laugh. There were also extra bits and pieces added about the authors and the books which were added to the different sections that gave extra information and extra places to visit.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am really looking forward to visiting some of the places. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons. 

🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(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 ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author 

Caroline Taggart worked in publishing as an editor of popular non-fiction for 30 years before being asked by Michael O’Mara Books to write I USED TO KNOW THAT, which became a Sunday Times bestseller. Following that she co-wrote MY GRAMMAR AND I (OR SHOULD THAT BE ‘ME’?) As a result of these books and HER LADYSHIP’S GUIDE TO THE QUEEN’S ENGLISH, published by Batsford, she has appeared frequently on BBC Breakfast and on national and regional radio, talking about language, grammar and Pythagoras’s theorem. Her record is 16 radio interviews in one day on the subject of exclamation marks.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you