The Weekly Brief

Happy Sunday!

I hope everyone has had a good weekend so far. I have done some fantastic reading this weekend which has been wonderful.

So here is what I have been up to on the blog this week

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

Proving to be very interesting so far.

Books Acquired

I will be honest I have already read this. I bought it on Friday and read it on Saturday, I just couldn’t put it down.

So there is my week.

Please drop me a comment if you want to chat.

Happy Reading

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd (Review)

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd


Bridie Devine—female detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery.

Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems.

Blending darkness and light, history and folklore, Things in Jars is a spellbinding Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale to stunning effect and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.


I love a gothic mystery so I was very excited to start reading this book and I will be honest it was rather a surprise once I got into the story. 

My first impression of this book was too much description and it took me a while to get used to this. Kidd is an excellent writer but sometimes her descriptions can go on too long. For example she describes at one point all the different dreams people are having and to be honest I just lost interest as they were characters that were not important. However, that is my only problem with this story; the rest I loved.

Bridie is fantastic and the more I got to know her the more I loved her character. Bridie is clever and has the ability and intellect to be an amazing doctor but sadly she is woman and women are not allowed to be doctors. This doesn’t stop Bridie though who helps Inspector Rose with unusual cases by examining the bodies and the scene of the crime. She also solves crimes for private clients as well. Bridie is eccentric, she smokes a pipe and speaks her mind and is a force to be reckoned with and she does all of this in a dress and many petticoats, most of the time.

I will be honest Bridie is basically a female Sherlock Holmes and it is very clear that that is who Kidd based the character on. Bridie also has a house maid called Cora who is fascinating. Cora is seven foot tall and a very scary woman who the local children find very interesting. She is also a fantastic bodyguard for Bridie who will see no harm come to her.

This story combines folklore and history together perfectly and makes for a fascinating read. I will be honest at times I found it a little disturbing but it was still a fabulous read that I highly enjoyed. I give this story 4 out of 5 Dragons.


Purchase Links

Amazon | 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

Jess Kidd was brought up in London as part of a large family from county Mayo and has been praised for her unique fictional voice. Her debut, Himself, was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards in 2016. She won the Costa Short Story Award the same year. Her second novel, The Hoarder, published as Mr. Flood’s Last Resort in the U.S. and Canada was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year 2019. Both books were BBC Radio 2 Book Club Picks. Her latest book, the Victorian detective tale Things in Jars, has been released to critical acclaim. Jess’s work has been described as ‘Gabriel García Márquez meets The Pogues.’ 

Reading My Height in Books #2


It is time for my monthly update on my reading challenge. Now I have noticed a little problem with my challenge and that is digital books. Last year I barely read a digital book and this year just because I have set myself this challenge there is a load of digital books I want to read! The question is do I count them in my challenge and if I do, how? So what do my fellow book dragons think? What should I do?

Anyway, until I make a decision here is my monthly update of the growing pile of books that I hope to get the same height as me this year. These are the books from January and February. The height is now 8.5 inches. I added 2.5 in February.

Physical Books Read in February

Caliban’s War by James S. A Corey

Die Standing by John Jackson Miller

Just another 4 foot 10.5 inches to go! I think some very thick books are required.

Here is my January picture in case you want to compare.

January Post

Happy Reading!

Top 5 Tuesday: Books from your Childhood

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


I love this week’s topic as I have so many books that I loved as a child and still love and read today.

So here are my top choices.

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Toad! I think Toad is one of the reasons I love frogs and toads, he is such a funny character and my favourite story is about Toad and his motorcar.

Matilda by Roald Dahl

I have very fond memories of this book and I still remember the day my sister gave me this book, we were sat in the kitchen and I remember being so excited to start reading it.

The Tale of Tom Kitten by Beatrix Potter

I love all the Beatrix Potter stories but I chose Tom Kitten today because he is rather a fat little kitten and reminds me of my rather tubby cats.

Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

Eeyore! I am obsessed with Eeyore, the house is full of Eeyores. My poor long suffering husband despairs when another turns up in the house. I adore all the Winnie the Pooh stories but the very best always include my beloved Eeyore.

The Brambly Hedge stories by Jill Barklem

I have fond memories of these stories and I recently bought the treasury for my best friend’s little boy because I wish to pass on the joy they brought me.

So there are just some of my favourites. What were your favourite children’s books? Remember please drop me a comment if you want to chat.

Happy Reading

February 2021 Wrap Up


Happy March! I feel like it was only yesterday that we were in January. I will be honest February hasn’t been the best month for reading due to assignments but I have still managed to fit some in to help me relax.



Pages: 601

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲


Pages: 68

Format Read: Kindle

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲


Pages: 385

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲


9/70 Goodreads Challenge. I’m 2 books behind!

There is my February. Hopefully March will be a better reading month.

Please drop me a comment if you want a chat.

Happy Reading.

The Weekly Brief

Happy Sunday!

I almost forgot to do this post because to be honest I forgot what day it is. I hope everyone has had a good weekend.

So without further ado, here is what I have been up to this week.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

Really enjoying this so far but I do find the descriptions rather long winded.

There is my blogging week. I hope everyone has a good week next week, full of sunshine and reading.

Happy Reading

Die Standing by John Jackson Miller (Review)

Die Standing by John Jackson Miller


No one in the history of histories has lost more than Philippa Georgiou, ruler of the Terran Empire. Forced to take refuge in the Federation’s universe, she bides her time until Section 31, a rogue spy force within Starfleet, offers her a chance to work as their agent. She has no intention of serving under anyone else, of course; her only interest is escape.

But when a young Trill, Emony Dax, discovers a powerful interstellar menace, Georgiou recognises it as a super-weapon that escaped her grasp in her own universe. Escorted by a team sent by an untrusting Federation to watch over her, the emperor journeys to a region forbidden to travellers. But will what she finds there end the threat—or give “Agent Georgiou” the means to create her old empire anew? 


This is the latest book in the Star Trek Discovery series and I must admit I was a bit hesitant to read it at first because I was worried about whether Emperor Georgiou would annoy me or not. Thankfully I did read it and was mistaken.

It has been a long time since I have read a book that has made me laugh so much. Georgiou is hilarious and very dangerous. Georgiou the emperor is a ruthless woman who has lost it all but is determined to make the best of the situations she finds herself in by any means necessary. Georgiou delights in causing chaos and the things she says are hilarious but one thing is for sure she is a lethal weapon. Georgiou is an expert killer, tactician and spy and this is all shown in the book.

In this book we also meet Finnegan. Georgiou knows Finnegan as Blackjack in her universe and by sheer coincidence she meets Finnegan in the current universe. Finnegan loves a good brawl and definitely loves a drink. You can happily imagine him getting drunk in a pub and starting a fight for fun. However, Finnegan does not agree with killing or enjoy it and that is where he differs from Blackjack. I really enjoyed the relationship that developed through the book between Georgiou and Finnegan and found it very funny how Finnegan was quite happy annoying Georgiou.

Emony Dax was an interesting character and one who wasn’t daunted by the scary things Georgiou kept coming out with. I felt quite sorry for Emony at times as people did not take her seriously and just ignored her opinions and ideas. Emony is an interesting character and I really enjoyed seeing how Finnegan took her under his wing and taught her how to fly a shuttle craft and even Georgiou at times looked after her and taught her things. 

I loved this book, the storyline was excellent but the main thing that really made this book was Georgiou, Finnegan and Emony and how they interacted with each other. A big 5 out 5 Dragons from me.


Purchase Links

Amazon | 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

New York Times bestselling author John Jackson Miller has spent a lifetime immersed in science fiction. His Star Trek novels include the Discovery – Die Standing, the acclaimed novel Discovery — The Enterprise War, the Prey trilogy, and Takedown. His Star Wars novels include A New Dawn, Kenobi, Knight Errant, Lost Tribe of the Sith, and the Knights of the Old Republic comics, available from Marvel as Legends: The Old Republic.

He’s written comics and prose for Halo, Iron Man, Simpsons, Conan, Planet of the Apes, and Mass Effect, with recent graphic novels for Battlestar Galactica, Dumbo, and The Lion King. Production notes on all his works can be found at his fiction site. 

He is also a comics industry historian, specialising in studying comic-book circulation as presented on his website, Comichron.. He also coauthored the Standard Catalog of Comic Books series.

WWW Wednesday: 24/02/2021

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?


I hope everyone is having a good week so far.

Here is my reading update…

What I am Currently Reading

Just started this today and only 24 pages in as I have read it in gaps between teaching as all my spare time has been used wrestling with an essay, but so far I am really enjoying it. It took me a bit to get used to Kidd’s writing style as she is very descriptive but I’m hooked!

What I have Recently Finished Reading

Loved this and found it highly amusing. Review will follow shortly.

What I think I will Read Next

There are so many books I want to read at the moment and so many I have on my wish list. I just don’t know what to read next!

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud

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.


I hope everyone is well this Tuesday evening.

I love books that make me laugh out loud so this weeks theme is perfect for me. So here are my ten books.

Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey

I only finished this book last week and I must admit it made laugh out loud a lot. There are some fantastic one liners in this book.

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

One of my Christmas reads that I absolutely loved.

The Sea of the Dead by Amy Kuivalainen

Another book with some very amusing scenes and one liners and I can’t wait till book 3 is published.

The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary

My friend introduced me to this book last year and it was a laugh a minute and was a welcome relief from lockdown 1.

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

I love all the Discworld books but this has to be one of my favourites.

Die Standing by John Jackson Miller

I haven’t actually finished reading this yet, I have 30 pages left but it has been so funny! Georgiou is hilarious and Finnegan is even better.

Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

This was my first read of 2021 and was another fun read, Amos was definitely the funniest character in this book.

Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss

It’s a talking cat, what more do I need to say?

The Martian by Andy Weir

Just like the film this is another very funny read.

Goodbye to All Cats by P. G. Wodehouse

This is only a short little book but it was a very amusing hour long read.

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

Happy Reading

Goodreads Monday: 22/02/2021

Goodreads Monday is hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners.  All you have to do is show off a book from your TBR that you’re looking forward to reading.


The book I have chosen today has been sat on my TBR pile for a very long time. I actually got the second book in the series in a Goodreads competition and then immediately bought the first in the series and they have been on the pile ever since.

So here is the book…

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

“I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin”

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Hopefully I will read the series this year.

Please drop me a comment if you have taken part in Goodreads Monday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading.