Mid Week Quote: Victor Hugo

Happy Wednesday!

I wanted a quote about happiness for today because happiness in life is very important.

 

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.”

 

Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Book Covers That I Love

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!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie but must be cover related so I have chosen Book Covers That I Love. I will be honest I have chosen books because of their cover rather than their content but sometimes you just can’t help but be tempted by a pretty cover. I am really guilty of buying Christmas books due to their pretty covers but I will try not to have just ten Christmas books on my list, I promise.

So here is my list…

 

  1. The Everyman’s Library. This isn’t really a book but a collection of books but I love the covers and happily collect these books. I just love how uniform they all are.
  2. Dickens. I love my Dickens collection, they are early 1900’s and just beautiful and so tactile to hold.
  3. Magic Windows. Now people who have been reading my blog for a while know that I love this book and always read it on Christmas Eve. It just reminds me so much of Christmas as a child.
  4. Old Possum’s Book of Predictable Cats by T. S. Eliot. I love this book and when I went to buy a copy of this book there were quite a few different copies to choose from and I chose this one just because of the cover.
  5. The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins. Oh dear now this was a book I chose because of the cover and was sorely disappointed with the actual story. I really should have learned a lesson from this book but it is doubtful.
  6. The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen. Read this book as a NetGalley read and then promptly ordered the book as I loved it so much and was even happier when I saw what an amazing cover it has.
  7. Five Feet Apart by Mikki Daughtry, Rachael Lippincott, and Tobias Iaconis. Haven’t read this yet but have seen the film and loved it. I really love the cover of this book.
  8. The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith. My husband had this book sat on his bookshelf for ages and I was desperate to read it as it was so pretty. Thankfully I loved the book as much as the cover.
  9. The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton. I love the film so much! I was so happy when I discovered this book last year.
  10. Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Prasadam-Halls. I have this on my Ipad and have preordered the hardback which is due out near my birthday. The whole book is just gorgeous so I am really excited to actually own a physical copy.

 

There is my list! Please drop me a comment with your thoughts on my choices and of course if you have taken part in Top Ten Tuesday the feel free to drop a link and I will head over.

 

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The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva (Review)

The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva

Blurb

Amy has a normal life. That is, if you were to go by a definition of ‘no immediate obvious indicators of peculiarity’, and you didn’t know her very well. She has good friends, a good job, a nice enough home. This normality, however, is precariously plastered on top of a different life. A life that is Amy’s real life. The only one her brain will let her lead.

Review

Firstly, a massive thank you to Lana Grace Riva for supplying me with a free copy of her wonderful book to review.

I will be honest this isn’t a book that I would have chosen to read on my own but I am so happy that I did read it and I definitely plan on reading more of Riva’s work.

Amy is a wonderful character and one that I loved and felt a rollercoaster of emotions for. Amy has a good group of friends, a fantastic job and what appears as a normal happy life. However, Amy is also plagued by her own mind, that little voice that insists she should live a certain way to survive, even though Amy knows this makes no sense. This almost double life for Amy is exhausting and upsets her greatly because she realises she is missing out on things she would love to do and she is grieving for a time she can remember where she didn’t have this weird double life and grabbed life with both hands.

Riva has really done her research for this book and the character of Amy is brilliantly thought out and her friends are perfect. Sally is the loud socialite who doesn’t see that there is more to Amy than she sees and so thinks wrongly of Amy and leaves Amy out of things but is still Amy’s friend. Nathan is the bubbly happy friend who cares for Amy and wants to help her. Then there is Ed who has always had a deep relationship with Amy and cares for Amy a great deal. Ed and Amy share the same tastes and love nothing more than going around an art exhibition.

The thing I love most about this book is that the story is so simple and it focuses on Amy’s daily life and the struggles she encounters each day. This simplicity makes the story so much more real and makes you realise as a reader that this could be anybody in the world who is facing these struggles, including your own work colleagues and friends. This book definitely makes you think about the struggles people have to deal with that you can’t see.

I am so happy that I read this book and highly recommend it to everyone. It won’t take you long to read but I can guarantee that it will stay with you and give you a lot to think about. I give this book a big 5 out of 5 Dragons.

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The Weekly Brief

It has been another busy week on the blog again this week which is always good.

Posts This Week

 

Currently Reading

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Books Acquired

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Blogs I’ve Enjoyed This Week

Here are some lovely blogs that I have really enjoyed reading this week:-

 

So there is another week of blogging complete. Now I’m off to carry on watching The Curse of Oak Island, I love a good treasure hunt!

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Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Review)

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

About the author

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Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the author of several novels, including Gods of Jade and Shadow. She has also edited a number of anthologies, including the World Fantasy Award-winning She Walks in Shadows (a.k.a. Cthulhu’s Daughters). Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination.

Blurb

After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find – her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

Review

I have seen so many reviews of this book and it has featured on my instagram account a great deal so I thought it was high time I gave it a read. Thankfully I was not disappointed.

The first few chapters of the book I will be honest had me slightly worried as it seemed to be heading down a predictable route and to a certain extent it was what I was predicting but with a twist and I’m so pleased I read it till the end.

Neomi is a true socialite who is used to getting her own way in the world. She has her father wrapped around her little finger and she knows how to get a man to do anything for her. She is beautiful and stylish but no simpleton, she is highly educated and I love the fact she has so many opportunities to show her knowledge.

Francis is such a sweetie all he wants to do is help Neomi but he is constrained by his family. He’s so shy and has clearly led a very sheltered life, he has never met a woman like Neomi before in his life and it is clear he finds her fascinating. I really loved Francis’ character and loved getting to know his character.

High Place is a mystery and a mouldy one at that, it really sounds like a nightmare to live in but the people who call it home do not seem to mind the state of place but Neomi notices it. The mould on the walls, the lack of reliable electricity and hot water and the fact that the curtains remain closed can not help the situation. It really must be a dismal place to live and seems like something from a gothic novel to Neomi.

The character I did not like was Virgil as he was clearly a bully and a very slimy character. He is described as handsome but his character does not reflect that. Florence, Francis’ mother, is also a nasty lady but at the same time I felt sorry for her. Florence clearly tried to change her future and clearly had a happier past but now she is a different woman left with broken dreams. You see snippets of this through the book.

I really enjoyed reading this book, oh and I love the cover of the book. I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but the cover really is eye catching. The storyline for this book is brilliantly written and cleverly thought out. I will definitely be reading Moreno-Garcia’s other books. I give this book 4 out 5 Dragons.

Purchase Links

Book DepositoryWaterstonesWordery

 

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Friday Poetry: Gillian Clarke

I love plums! Green Gages are my absolute favourite. Due to this I have chosen a poem about plums by the Welsh poet Gillian Clarke.

 

Plums

When their time comes they fall

without wind, without rain.

They seep through the trees’ muslin

in a slow fermentation.

 

Daily the low sun warms them

in a late love that is sweeter

than summer. In bed at night

we hear heartbeat of fruitfall.

 

The secretive slugs crawl home

to the burst honeys, are found

in the morning mouth on mouth,

inseparable.

 

We spread patchwork counterpanes

for clean catch. Baskets fill, 

never before such harvest,

such a hunters’ moon burning

 

the hawthorns, drunk on syrups

that are richer by night

when spiders pitch

tents in the wet grass.

 

This morning the red sun

is opening like a rose

on our white wall, prints there

the fishbone shadow of a fern.

 

The early blackbirds fly

guilty from a dawn haul

of fallen fruit. We too

breakfast on sweetnesses.

 

Soon plum trees will be bone,

grown delicate with frost’s

formalities. Their black

angles will tear the snow.

 

Gillian Clarke

 

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This and That Thursday

Happy Thursday Everyone!

Well we are well on the way to the weekend and I must admit this week has been rather busy.

Walking and Exercise

This week we have upped our walking considerably which has been lovely and has also made my Fitbit step count go through the roof. I’m also still doing my exercises and I’m really focusing on strength training so I hope it pays off soon.

Flute practice

I’ve also been doing a bit of flute playing this week and trying to get my skills up. The flute is my main instrument and the instrument that I studied at university for my degree and my masters but sadly my asthma over the years has taken its toll and I can no longer play like I used to. I’m really hoping that one day I can get back to where I once was but it will take a lot of time and will only happen if my asthma behaves. It has been fun to play though and get back into it as I really miss playing.

Weddings

On Saturday I played for two weddings which was wonderful but very strange. Everyone wearing masks and sitting two metres apart was very odd but it was so nice that the two couples could finally get married and I learnt a new piece for the occasion which was the Wedding Processional from The Sound of Music. It is always fun to learn new pieces for weddings.

The normal day to day continues and Autumn is fast approaching, I must admit I am rather looking forward to cosy fires, books, blankets and hot chocolate.

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WWW Wednesday: 9/09/2020

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?

 

Happy Wednesday!

So here is another book update. I must admit I’m quite pleased with how my reading is going at the moment.

What I am Currently Reading

Just started Mexican Gothic but a bit worried it is going the way I think it is and if I am right I will be a bit disappointed as the storyline is so predictable.

 

What I have Recently Finished Reading

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Click the picture for the review but I will be honest I wasn’t impressed.

 

What I think I will Read Next

As per usual I’m never sure but here are a few options on the list.

 

There is my WWW Wednesday post. Please drop me a message with your WWW Wednesday and I will hop over for a visit.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books for My Younger Self

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 love this weeks prompt as I have a huge list of books that I would have loved to have read as a child.

 

Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr, Ernestine Carey

Mr Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield

Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

 

There is the list of some the books I wish I had read as a child but I plan to read them as an adult. Please drop me a comment with your Top Ten Tuesday and I will head over for a visit.

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