Waterstones Challenge: Merry Hill

This week on the 7th February I visited my fourth Waterstones off the list, Merry Hill. It has been a while since I have visited the Waterstones at Merry Hill and I had forgotten how small the store is. Small in a good way, as sometimes I get overwhelmed by massive bookstores and just do not know where to look.

It was a really nice atmosphere in the store and quiet, which I love because you do not have to rush or fight through people to have a good browse. As usual the books were laid out perfectly and so I managed to find some good books to buy.

Here are the books I bought and I used my special book buying bag that I got for Chistmas off my sister-in-law.

 

The books I bought are as follows:-

The Man with No Face by Peter May

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This edition I got is actually signed by the author and as he is a favourite of mine I just could not resist buying it. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it anyway.

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

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Have been waiting for this to come out for a while now, I was very excited to buy it.

Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott

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This is actually my husband’s choice and I bought it for him but would also like to read it when he has finished it. It looks very intriguing and different to what I usually read.

Dog Stories Everyman’s Pocket Classics

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I love the Everyman books, I just think they look so pretty. We have the cat version of this book and I thought it was high time we had the dog one.

Anyway this was my book haul, I think it is a good haul and can not wait to start reading them.

On to planning my next Waterstones adventure.

Lady Book Dragon.

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Friday Poetry

This poem I chose because believe it or not I am currently doing a Chicken Behaviour and Welfare course online with Edinburgh University. After owning chickens for quite a few years I decided to learn more about them. After all you are never too old to learn new things.

Also this is my 100th blog post. Thank you for all the ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ everyone.

Cock – Crow

Out of the wood of thoughts that grows by night

To be cut down by the sharp axe of light, –

Out of the night, two cocks together crow,

Cleaving the darkness with a silver blow:

And bright before my eyes twin trumpeters stand,

Heralds of splendour, one at either hand,

Each facing each as in a coat of arms:

The milkers lace their boots up at the farms.

Edward Thomas

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This was the first cockeral that I ever owned his name was Charles and his hens were Queen Elizabeth, Eugenie, Victoria, Diana, Beatrice and Catherine.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Lady Book Dragon.

Happy Birthday Charles Dickens!

Happy Birthday to you.

Happy Birthday to you.

Happy Birthday dear Charles Dickens!

Happy Birthday to YOU!

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Another of my favourite authors was born on this day and that is the great Charles Dickens. Charles Dickens was born on this day in 1812 in Portsmouth. Dickens left school to work in a factory when his father was incarcerated in debtors prison. Despite his lack of education Dickens went on to write 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non fiction articles, lectured and performed readings, he also edited a weekly journal for 20 years. He was also a campaigner for children’s rights, education and social reforms.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was the first Dickens novel I read and also the first classic book I read at the young age of 9 years old. Later I fell in love with A Tale of Two Cities and have since read it many times. I have not read all Dickens’ novels though sadly but hope to remedy that soon. I do own a beautiful set of old Dickens’ novels that are a joy to behold and read and a complete set of Vintage Classics that are paperback. I tend to read the paperbacks though as I do not like to take the old antique ones out of the house. Sadly as we are trying to get our library room finished my Dickens collection is stacked up in the living room, but I have included a few snaps of my antique Dickens books.

So Charles Dickens, happy birthday and thank you for your wonderful work, you truly were a literary genius.

Lady Book Dragon.

 

The Dickens’ novels that I have read are as follows:-

The Pickwick Papers

A Christmas Carol

A Tale of Two Cities

Our Mutual Friend

The Old Curiosity Shop

Great Expectations.

Which one do you think I should read next? I would love to hear what your favourite Dickens novel is.

 

 

Caste – Off by Jeffrey Archer (Review)

Caste – Off by Jeffrey Archer

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About the author

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Jeffrey Archer was born in England in 1940, he is a former politician and author. Archer was a member of parliament from 1969-1974 but did not seek re-election due to a financial scandal that almost bankrupt him. Facing bankruptcy Archer began to write and in so doing revived his fortunes. Archer’s political career has been filled with scandal and in 2001 he was sent to jail for perjury and perverting the course of justice, in 2003 he was released. All his life experiences influence his writing and make for interesting reading.

Blurb

Jamwal Rameshwar Singh, a hedonistic playboy prince, assumes he will never fall in love but this all changes when he meets Nisha Chowdhury. Their blossoming international relationship continues as she completes her degree at Stanford but even as their love grows, Jamwal knows that his family will oppose the match as Nisha is not of their caste. Will Jamwal choose love or will his family’s wishes prevail?

Review

After reading a few of these short stories I am starting to sense a theme, basically a man sees a beautiful woman and drops absolutely everything to chase her. I picked up this short story over breakfast and soon had it finished and it was a perfect start to the working day.

A classic tale of forbidden love that I absolutely loved. Archer set the book in India which I did not expect at all and was a nice surprise, I particularly liked the random cows on the road during the car race at the beginning. Jamwal is a typical playboy with a phonebook full of women he can call on whenever he feels like but very hard working and a successful businessman. Nisha is a Stanford student studying fashion, who is the most beautiful woman Jamwal has ever seen and guess what when he first sees her he drops all his plans in pursuit of her.

The story is beautifully written and the imagery and detail is fantastic. I loved how Jamwal’s and Nisha’s blossoming relationship is squeezed into the short story and yet it does not feel rushed or in anyway lacking, which proves Archer’s talent as an author. The question of whether Jamwal will choose his family or the love of his life has you on tenter hooks and there was no way I was putting the story down until I had finished the book.

This story took about 20 minutes to read, so an excellent read when you have a bit of time for a mug of tea and your feet up. It is free on Kindle and a wonderful read I can not recommend it enough. I rated this story 5 out of 5 Dragons.

Lady Book Dragon.

As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Gerard Manley Hopkins (Review)

As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Gerard Manley Hopkins

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About the author

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Gerard Manley Hopkins was born on the 28th July 1844, he was an English poet and Jesuit priest. His two main themes in his poetry are nature and religion. He died in 1889 of what is believed to be typhoid fever. His work was largely ignored during his life but was published posthumously.

Blurb

Considered unpublishable in his lifetime, the Victorian priest’s groundbreaking, experimental verse on nature’s glory and despair.

Review

Oh dear, as I have mentioned in the past I struggle with poetry and this book has been a massive challenge and although I persevered I did not enjoy the poetry.

The second book in the Penguin Little Black Classics is a series of poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins and titled after possibly his most famous poem As Kingfishers Catch Fire.

The main thing I struggled with was that I found the poetry stilted and lacking fluency. I also found his use of imagery a bit strange and his wording a struggle to grasp.

Overall I just struggled full stop and would not read anything of this author again, if it was not for the fact the book was so short I doubt I would have finished it. I have problems appreciating poetry but have recently been enjoying reading through some poetry books and discovering new poets that I enjoy to read. Sadly though this book did not appeal and I only give this little book of poems 1 dragon out 5.

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New Books 3/02/2019

Amazon has a lot to answer for, they keep sending me all these emails advertising the cheap books and this evening before I had realised what I had done I had bought 7 books!

I could not believe that the the entire series of Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan was on the deal of the day, each book costing just 99p each. Then I also discovered another Veronica Henry book for 99p and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

I’m very excited to read the Heroes of Olympus series as I am a massive fan of Rick Riordan.

So here are my lovely new books.

Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

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Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

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Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

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Heroes of Olympus: The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

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Heroes of Olympus: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

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A Family Recipe by Veronica Henry

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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach

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Many exciting books to read, lets hope I find the time to fit in all this reading.

I would love to hear if anybody has read these books and their thoughts on them, please drop me a comment.

Lady Book Dragon