My 2022 in Books

Hello and Happy New Year!

I didn’t read as many books in 2022 as I usually do but I did read bigger books than usual. I also managed to complete my Goodreads Challenge.

Here are the books I read in 2022.

I’m so glad I read more classics this year and I made progress with the book series I have been trying to finish. I’m still trying to come up with my reading goals for 2023 but I have decided I want to try and read my height in books again as I failed when I tried it in 2021.

Happy Reading

Etsy

Friday Poetry: Eleanor Farjeon

Happy Friday!

I hope you are all looking forward to New Year and have some fun plans for New Year’s Eve. We will probably have a quiet New Year’s Eve at home but we have a nice bottle of champagne to help us celebrate.

My chosen poem today is by one of my favourites Eleanor Farjeon.

Poetry

What is Poetry? Who knows?
Not a rose, but the scent of a rose;
Not a sky, but the light in the sky;
Not the fly, but the gleam of the fly;
Not the sea, but the sound of the sea;
Not myself, but what makes me
See, hear, and feel something that prose
Cannot: and what it is, who knows?

Eleanor Farjeon

Happy Reading

Etsy

Warrior Queens and Quiet Revolutionaries by Kate Mosse (Review)

Warrior Queens and Quiet Revolutionaries by Kate Mosse

Blurb

Warrior Queens & Quiet Revolutionaries brings together Kate’s rich and detailed knowledge of unheard and under-heard women’s history, and of how and why women’s achievements have routinely been omitted from the history books. This beautiful illustrated book is both an alternative feminist history of the world and a personal memoir about the nature of women’s struggles to be heard, about how history is made and by whom.

Split into ten sections, each covering a different category of women’s achievements in history, Kate Mosse tells the stories of female inventors and scientists, philanthropists and conservationists, authors and campaigners. It is the most accessible narrative non-fiction with a genuinely diverse, truly global perspective featuring names such as Sophie Scholl, Mary Seacole, Cornelia Sorabji, Helen Suzman, Shirley Chisholm, and Violette Szabo. And in deeply personal passages Kate writes about the life of her great-grandmother, Lily Watson, where she turns detective to find out why she has all but disappeared from the record.

Review

I discovered Kate Mosse this year so when I saw this book come out I bought it straight away. It took me a long time to read this book because I found that I preferred to dip into it when I was in the mood for some nonfiction. 

I found this book absolutely fascinating but at the same time rather frustrating. Just as I discover this fantastic pioneering woman from history the book quickly moves on to another pioneering woman from history. There were certain women that I would have loved to have learned more about. It did mean that I started doing my own research into these interesting characters. 

I will be honest I didn’t really find the sections on Lily, Mosse’s great-grandmother, very interesting and would have happily done without them. I can understand Mosse’s interest in her great-grandmother but it just felt a little bit like she was trying too hard to make her relative who published books and articles known to the general public again as Lily had fallen from everyone’s memory and her books are out of publication. 

This book is an amazing resource to dip into and one that I will return to again and again. I learned so much from this book and found some amazing women from history who I plan to research further. History has always generally been written by men about men so it was refreshing to find a book written by a woman about women from history. I didn’t find this book an easy read because I found it jumped around rather a lot but I still loved it. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons. 

🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Bookshop.org | 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

Kate Mosse is an international bestselling author with sales of more than five million copies in 42 languages. Her fiction includes the novels Labyrinth (2005), Sepulchre (2007), The Winter Ghosts (2009), and Citadel (2012), as well as an acclaimed collection of short stories, The Mistletoe Bride & Other Haunting Tales (2013). Kate’s new novel, The Taxidermist’s Daughter is out now.

Kate is the Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (previously the Orange Prize) and in June 2013, was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to literature. She lives in Sussex.

Etsy

Friday Poetry: Cicely Mary Barker

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone is ready for Christmas. My chosen poem today is a favourite of mine by Cicely Mary Barker.

Sadly our tree won’t have a Christmas Tree fairy living in it because our tree is artificial, this is mainly because my husband and myself are both allergic to real Christmas trees.

The Christmas Tree Fairy

The little Christmas Tree was born
And dwelt in open air;
It did not guess how bright a dress
Some day its boughs would wear;
Brown cones were all, it thought, a tall
And grown-up Fir would bear.

O little Fir! Your forest home
Is far and far away;
And here indoors these boughs of yours
With coloured balls are gay,
With candle-light, and tinsel bright,
For this is Christmas Day!

A dolly-fairy stands on top,
Till children sleep; then she
(A live one now!) from bough to bough
Goes gliding silently.
O magic sight, this joyous night!
O laden, sparkling tree!

Cicely Mary Barker

Happy Reading

Etsy

Christmas Poems by Wendy Cope (Review)

Christmas Poems by Wendy Cope

Blurb

For more than thirty years Wendy Cope has been one of the nation’s most popular and respected poets. Christmas Poems collects together her best festive poems, including anthology favourites such as ‘The Christmas Life’, together with new and previously unpublished work. Cope celebrates the joyful aspects of the season but doesn’t overlook the problems and sadness it can bring. With lively illustrations to accompany the words, it is a book to enjoy this Christmas and in years to come.

Review

I bought this book in October when I was in Bath and I was really excited because I thought this little book would be a perfect festive read in December. At only 48 pages long this did not take me long to read and was a perfect diversion from the Christmas prep. 

As you probably know by now if you have been following me for any length of time I was never a huge poetry fan but since I have been blogging I have been making an effort to get into poetry. Since doing this I have found quite a few favourite poets that I enjoy to read and I am always looking for new poets to read. Wendy Cope is one of these new poets for me. 

Certain poems within this book I could really relate to. Cope was a primary school teacher for 15 years and a piano player and her reflections on playing for children’s services I can relate to as I teach piano and woodwind in a primary school and know all about the Christmas services and the many renditions of Little Donkey. 

I will be honest there were only a few poems that I really enjoyed in this book because I found quite a few of the poems rather depressing and not very helpful for getting into the festive spirit. However, I like Cope’s style as a poet and will definitely be checking out more of her poems. 

The illustrations in this book are by Michael Kirkham and were excellent and really added to the poems. Without the illustrations the book would have been a lot shorter. 

Overall, I found this little book of poems an accomplished read but not really my cup of tea. It sadly wasn’t the festive read I was looking for but I appreciate the skill of Wendy Cope. I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons. 

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Purchase Links

Book Depository | Bookshop.org | 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 poet

Wendy Cope was educated at Farringtons School, Chislehurst, London and then, after finishing university at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, she worked for 15 years as a primary school teacher in London.

In 1981, she became Arts and Reviews editor for the Inner London Education Authority magazine, ‘Contact’. Five years later she became a freelance writer and was a television critic for ‘The Spectator magazine’ until 1990.

Her first published work ‘Across the City’ was in a limited edition, published by the Priapus Press in 1980 and her first commercial book of poetry was ‘Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis’ in 1986. Since then she has published two further books of poetry and has edited various anthologies of comic verse.

In 1987 she received a Cholmondeley Award for poetry and in 1995 the American Academy of Arts and Letters Michael Braude Award for light verse. In 2007 she was one of the judges for the Man Booker Prize.

In 1998 she was the BBC Radio 4 listeners’ choice to succeed Ted Hughes as Poet Laureate and when Andrew Motion’s term of office ended in 2009 she was once again considered as a replacement.

She was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s 2010 Birthday Honours List.

Etsy

WWW Wednesday: 21/12/2022

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!

Is everyone ready for Christmas yet? I am still nowhere near ready for Christmas but hopefully I will get there soon. One thing I do know is that I won’t be able to read as many books as I usually do in December this year.

What I am Currently Reading

I just started the poems today and so far so good. Yes I am still plodding along with the Kate Mosse and I am determined to finish it before the New Year.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

The Penguin Book of Christmas Stories wasn’t really a finish because once I got to page 136 the book started again at page 89. I was really frustrated and upset about this as I was really enjoying the book but sadly I am unable to finish it. I did ask Penguin about this on Twitter but they chose to ignore my tweet, oh well. I finished Murder in the Falling Snow this morning and I really enjoyed it. I really enjoy these books and I always make sure I buy the new one each year.

What I Think I will Read Next

I really don’t have a clue what I will read next. To be honest it all depends on my mood.

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

Happy Reading

Etsy

The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan (Review)

The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan

Blurb

The Dragon Reborn—the leader long prophesied who will save the world, but in the saving destroy it; the saviour who will run mad and kill all those dearest to him—is on the run from his destiny.

Able to touch the One Power, but unable to control it, and with no one to teach him how—for no man has done it in three thousand years—Rand al’Thor knows only that he must face the Dark One. But how?

Winter has stopped the war—almost—yet men are dying, calling out for the Dragon. But where is he?

Perrin Aybara is in pursuit with Moiraine Sedai, her Warder Lan, and Loial the Ogier. Bedeviled by dreams, Perrin is grappling with another deadly problem—how is he to escape the loss of his own humanity?

Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve are approaching Tar Valon, where Mat will be healed—if he lives until they arrive. But who will tell the Amyrlin their news—that the Black Ajah, long thought only a hideous rumour, is all too real? They cannot know that in Tar Valon far worse awaits…

Ahead, for all of them, in the Heart of the Stone, lies the next great test of the Dragon reborn….

Review

This is the third time I have read this book but this time through I am determined to actually finish the series and not give up after book 5. 

I really enjoyed this book because it wasn’t overly focused on Rand, the events the book focuses on are linked with Rand but isn’t thankfully on him. I will be honest Rand drives me up the wall. All I want to do with Rand is shake him and tell him to stop being a stroppy teenager and grow up. 

My favourite character in this book is Perrin. Perrin has a lot to deal with but he doesn’t sulk and act out, he handles it like a man. Perrin has discovered something about himself and it is hard for him to accept but he is trying to deal with it as best he can. Perrin is with Moraine Sedai, Lan and Loial in pursuit of Rand and the pursuit is not easy because Perrin doesn’t know who to trust and because he sees the devastation that follows Rand wherever he goes. 

This book also lets us spend more time with Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve which is nice because we start to see what strong characters these three women are. We also get to learn more about Tar Valon which I find fascinating. I really hope we learn more about the tower and the history of the Aes Sedai in the next books. 

This book also introduces more of the Forsaken and gives us more of the history about them. We learn how many are no longer imprisoned and we learn more about the individual Forsaken backgrounds. We also learn that more people are Darkfriends and that nobody can be truly trusted. 

I really enjoyed this book and I think I enjoyed it more than the previous times I have read the book. I plan on really getting into the series during 2023 but I know that certain books in the series are not as good as others. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Bookshop.org | 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 

James Oliver Rigney Jr. (1948-2007) was an American author of epic fantasy who wrote under the pen name Robert Jordan. Jordan also wrote historical fiction under the name of Reagan O’Neal, a western as Jackson O’Reilly, and dance criticism as Chang Lung. 

Etsy

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good weekend so far. I am still trying to catch up on my book reviews but I am falling further behind sadly. Hopefully, things will start to slow down work wise so I can catch up with everything.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

Really enjoying my festive reads so far this December.

Happy Reading

Etsy

Friday Poetry: Eleanor Farjeon

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone is having a good week so far and you all have exciting weekend plans. I will be honest December is not proving to be our best month. I have spent most of the week without a car and just because I have a hugely busy weekend of playing jobs my car is still not fixed so I will have to borrow my Mom’s car. This will be the first time ever my Mom will have let me drive her car.

As we get closer to Christmas I have decided to go for a Christmas themed poem.

Mary's Burden

My Baby, my Burden,
Tomorrow the morn
I shall go lighter
And you will be born. 

I shall go lighter,
But heavier too
For seeing the burden
That falls upon you. 

The burden of love,
The burden of pain,
I'll see you bear both
Among men once again.

Tomorrow you'll bear it
Your burden alone,
Tonight you've no burden
That is not my own

My Baby, my Burden,
Tomorrow the morn
I shall go lighter
And you will be born. 

Eleanor Farjeon

Happy Reading

Etsy