Top 5 Tuesday: Books I’m Glad I Read

Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and now being hosted by Meeghan reads.


It has been a few weeks since I have taken part in Top 5 Tuesday, but this week I really liked the topic, so thought I would take part.

Here are my 5 books that I am really pleased to have read this year. Click the pictures for the review.

The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva

This is a type of book I would never have usually considered reading but I am so pleased I did because it was brilliantly written and a big eye opener.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

This was a beautiful retelling of The Iliad and a really refreshing approach.

Half a World Away by Mike Gayle

I discovered Mike Gayle over lockdown and really loved this book, it was beautifully written but I warn you if you read it have a box of tissues at the ready.

Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and David Litchfield

Another lockdown gem that I got for free on my ipad but have since bought the hardback version as it is so beautiful.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Another new author for me this year and it was quite simply a laugh a minute.

So there is my list. Please drop me a link with your Top 5 Tuesday and I will head over for a visit.

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Would Name a Pet After

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.


Another fabulous theme this week and one quite apt as my husband and I own two cats that are named after book characters.

So here is the list and first up are my cats!

Meet Lyra and Pan from His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

  1. Gandalf the Grey from The Lord of the Rings – This is my dream name for a long haired grey cat.
  2. Winnie from Winnie the Pooh – A female British Bulldog.
  3. Pilot from Jane Eyre – A male German Shepherd
  4. Holmes and Watson from Sherlock Holmes – Two male Beagles
  5. Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights – Male wire haired Dacshund
  6. Deuteronomy from The Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats – Male Maine coon cat.
  7. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice – Male or female Dalmatian
  8. Meg from Little Women – Female long haired collie
  9. Hercule from Hercule Poirot – Male Scottish Fold cat
  10. Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol – Male Tea Cup Chihuahua

So there is my pet wish list.

Please drop me link with your Top Ten Tuesday and I will head over for a visit.

Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold by Stephen Fry (Review)

Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold by Stephen Fry


Rediscover the thrills, grandeur, and unabashed fun of the Greek myths—stylishly retold by Stephen Fry. This legendary writer, actor, and comedian breathes new life into beloved tales. From Persephone’s pomegranate seeds to Prometheus’s fire, from devious divine schemes to immortal love affairs, Fry draws out the humour and pathos in each story and reveals its relevance for our own time. Illustrated throughout with classical art inspired by the myths, this gorgeous volume invites you to explore a captivating world, with a brilliant storyteller as your guide.


My first encounter with Stephen Fry would have been watching Blackadder episodes with my big sister when I was little and since then he has always been a great favourite. I can’t believe I have put off reading Mythos for so long but I know that I won’t be putting off reading Heroes. 

Fry’s retelling of the Greek myths is brilliantly done and a great read that had me laughing my head off at regular intervals. Fry’s humour comes through this book with subtly and also when the myth calls for it straight in your face brilliance. 

Mythos begins right at the beginning of what the Greeks believed was the beginning of everything and progresses from there onwards. Each main section is divided into subsections that make the reading easier and more accessible.

Fry’s retelling of these familiar myths gives them a fresh and new feeling and makes them highly informative but also fun. I loved Fry’s commentary throughout and his very useful little extra bits of information in the footnotes. Fry’s talent as a writer shines through with this book but also his excellent knowledge into Ancient Greek Mythology. 

My particular favourite characters are Zeus and Hera, how Fry portrays them is hilarious and you can’t help but laugh at some of their marital stories. My favourite retelling of all though has got to be Hermes stealing Apollo’s cattle and then Apollo being utterly dumbfounded by meeting his new half brother Hermes.

This is an amazing read that makes the Greek myths accessible to everyone. I give this book a big 5 out of 5 Dragons and highly recommend it to everyone who enjoys a good laugh. 


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)

About the Author

Stephen Fry (1957) is an English comedian, writer, actor, humourist, novelist, poet, columnist, filmmaker, television personality and technophile. As one half of the Fry and Laurie double act with his comedy partner, Hugh Laurie, he has appeared in A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster. He is also famous for his roles in Blackadder and Wilde, and as the host of QI. In addition to writing for stage, screen, television and radio he has contributed columns and articles for numerous newspapers and magazines, and has also written four successful novels and a series of memoirs.

The Weekly Brief

Happy Sunday!

I hope everyone has had a good week in these strange times. I managed to finish two books this week so I was rather happy. These books I had been reading for quite a while so it was nice to finally finish them. Anyway, here is my week in the blogging world.

Posts this Week

Books I am Currently Reading

Books Acquired this Week

Happy Reading.

Rossetti: Poems by Christina Rossetti (Review)

Rossetti: Poems by Christina Rossetti


Poems: Rossetti contains a full selection of Rossetti’s work, including her lyric poems, dramatic and narrative poems, rhymes and riddles, sonnet sequences, prayers and meditations, and an index of first lines.


I have been dipping into this book since the New Year and I must admit it has been lovely to sit and read a poem or two whilst drinking a mug of tea or in fact muting the adverts and reading a poem. When I first started really reading poetry a couple of years ago I soon realised that one of my favourites was Christina Rossetti and so when I found this little book I was delighted and it has lived on my coffee table ever since.

Rossetti penned my all time favourite Christmas carol In the Bleak Midwinter. I love it as a poem but my favourite thing is to sing it to the tune written by Holst. Christmas is not Christmas without this carol for me and thankfully I found this poem in this little book.

I really enjoyed the riddles in this book as well and thankfully I am pleased to say I managed to work most of them out. In fact that was what I loved about this book, the fact it was full of variety and contained examples of Rossetti’s poems, sonnets, riddles, prayers and more. 

This little pocket sized book really gives a broad spectrum of Rossetti’s work and is a joy to read and just dip into when the mood suits you. Some of my favourites were Goblin Market, In the Bleak Midwinter, Advent, A Wintry Sonnet and Strange Planets. I give this little book of poems 5 out 5 Dragons.


Purchase Links

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About the author

Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) was an English poet who wrote romantic, devotional and children’s poems. She was also the sister of artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Friday Poetry: Christina Rossetti

Happy Friday!

Here is my chosen Rossetti poem for this week and this week I have chosen one of her sonnets and this one is about Autumn.


So late in Autumn half the world's asleep,
And half the wakeful world looks pinched and pale,
For dampness now, not freshness, rides the gale;
And cold and colourless comes ashore the deep
With tides that bluster or with tides that creep;
Now veiled uncouthness wears an uncouth veil
Of fog, not sultry haze; and blight and bale
Have done their worst, and leaves rot on the heap.
So late in Autumn one forgets the Spring,
Forgets the Summer with its opulence,
The callow birds that long have found a wing,
The swallows that more lately gat them hence:
Will anything like Spring, will anything
Like Summer, rouse one day the slumbering sense?

Christina Rossetti

Happy Reading.

This and That Thursday


Another busy week has gone by with teaching, studying and throwing things away.

Yes I have had a big clear out of my music room and changed the position of my online teaching setup and I love it. The room is so much calmer now it is all organised. I am aiming to do every room before Christmas so the bedroom and music room are now done, so kitchen and dinning room are next.

Here is my lovely music room


I have been after an exercise bike for ages and I now have one and so after a busy day I have been chilling out with a session on the bike whilst watching an episode of Criminal Minds.


We are still walking and have recently discovered a lovely walk which is really close to where we live and I loved it. Lyra has been helping us choose some new walks to try as well.

Piano Playing

I have started practicing Christmas music on the piano. Each year I try to learn new Christmas pieces on the piano and so hopefully I will be able to play some new tunes at Christmas. So far there has been some terrible Christmas tunes in this house.

So there is my week. I hope everyone is having a good week so far.

Happy Reading.

Armistice Day

It was a strange Remembrance Sunday due to Lockdown this year. I usually take part in a Remembrance Sunday service at church playing the organ but this time I was sat at home watching a service online.

Today I have chosen a poem for Armistice Day by Wilfred Owen.

Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' raid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, - 
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles my be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing down of blinds.

Wilfred Owen

WWW Wednesday: 11/11/2020

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!

What I am Currently Reading

Really enjoying this at the moment.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

Really enjoyed this little read. Click picture for review!

What I Plan to Read Next

As per usual I am never sure what I will read but it will be one of these as I have been boxing up my books so they are out of the way for when we start decorating so it has to be a book that isn’t in a box.

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