WWW Wednesday: 1/09/2021

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?

Hello!

I can’t quite believe it is September already. I hope everyone is having a good week so far.

What I am Currently Reading

I still dipping into The Book Lover’s Bucket List and loving it. Death of Darkness is ongoing and I am really enjoying it.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

It took me a while to get into this but once I did I really enjoyed it. Review.

What I Think I will Read Next

I am still sticking to hardbacks at the moment.

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

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

August 2021 Wrap Up

Hello!

August was a good month for me as I got to catch up with friends that I haven’t seen for a long time and go away for a little holiday. I also managed to do some reading which is always good.

Statistics

Books

Pages: 320

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 424

Format Read: Hardback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 30

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲

Pages: 32

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Pages: 416

Format Read: Hardback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 416

Format Read: Hardback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

41/70 Goodreads Challenge

Still behind on the Goodreads Challenge but I am determined to catch up once the dissertation is finished.

Please drop me a comment if you want to chat about any of the books.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Familiars by Stacey Halls (Review)

The Familiars by Stacey Halls

Blurb

Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married, and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband Richard is anxious for an heir. When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn¹t supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy.

When she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife, Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby, and to prove the physician wrong. 

When Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the North-West, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her. But is there more to Alice than meets the eye? 

As the two women’s lives become inextricably bound together, the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood¹s stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake. 

Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

Review

After reading Mrs England I really wanted to read more of Stacey Halls’ work and thankfully I remembered I had The Familiars on one of my many TBR piles. When I started reading this I struggled to get into it to start with as it didn’t seem to hook me in like Mrs England had but once I was about a third of the way in I couldn’t put the book down. 

This book is based on the real Pendle witch trials that happened in 1612 and the characters are named after real life characters from that period but the story is devised by Stacey Halls. 

Fleetwood is the main character in this book and to start with she comes across as rather immature and a little bit spoiled but as the book goes on you see her grow up and become a strong woman. It is just sad that the reason she grows up so quickly is because of the blows that life throws at her during this book. 

Alice is Fleetwood’s first real friend and her midwife. She is also Fleetwood’s only hope to bring into the world a healthy baby and keep her own life. Alice is a lovely character and clearly a woman who knows her own mind, she is intelligent and knows the way to help people medically with the items available for the time period. She is also lost and needs someone to be her friend and fight her corner. 

Richard is Fleetwood’s husband and to be honest I did not like him. He gives Fleetwood more freedom than most women would have had in the 1600’s but it also seems to come with a price. He comes across as vain and rather big headed. 

The story is really about strong women who are not understood by men and so they are punished because of it. It shows just how tough life was for a woman in the 1600’s and that even wealthy women were not well treated at times. I really enjoyed this book but I did struggle at the beginning so I am giving this book 4 out 5 Dragons.

🐲🐲🐲🐲

Product Links

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

Stacey Halls grew up in Rossendale, Lancashire, as the daughter of market traders. She has always been fascinated by the Pendle witches. She studied journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and moved to London aged 21. She was media editor at The Bookseller and books editor at Stylist.co.uk, and has also written for Psychologies, the Independent and Fabulous magazine, where she now works as Deputy Chief Sub Editor. The Familiars is her first novel.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Agatha Christie Challenge #2

Hello!

I thought it was time for an update on my Agatha Christie reading challenge as my last update was in June. I am attempting to read all of the complete full length novels by Christie in order of publication.

So here is the big list of books. The crossed off titles are the ones I have already read and reviewed, click them to be taken to the review.

  1. The Mysterious Affair at Styles
  2. The Secret Adversary
  3. The Murder on the Links
  4. The Man in the Brown Suit
  5. The Secret in Chimneys
  6. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  7. The Big Four
  8. The Mystery of the Blue Train
  9. The Seven Dials Mystery
  10. The Murder at the Vicarage
  11. Giant’s Bread
  12. The Floating Admiral
  13. The Sittaford Mystery 
  14. Peril at End House
  15. Lord Edgware Dies
  16. Murder on the Orient Express
  17. Unfinished Portrait
  18. Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?
  19. Three Act Tragedy
  20. Death in the Clouds
  21. The A.B.C Murders
  22. Murder in Mesopotamia
  23. Cards on the Table
  24. Dumb Witness
  25. Death on the Nile
  26. Appointment with Death
  27. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas
  28. Murder is Easy
  29. And Then There Were None
  30. Sad Cypress
  31. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
  32. Evil Under the Sun
  33. N or M?
  34. The Body in the Library
  35. Five Little Pigs
  36. The Moving Finger
  37. Towards Zero
  38. Absent in the Spring
  39. Death Comes as the End
  40. Sparkling Cyanide
  41. The Hollow
  42. Taken at the Flood
  43. The Rose and the Yew Tree
  44. Crooked House
  45. A Murder is Announced
  46. They Came to Baghdad
  47. Mrs McGinty’s Dead
  48. They Do It with Mirrors
  49. A Daughter’s a Daughter
  50. After the Funeral
  51. A Pocket Full of Rye
  52. Destination Unknown
  53. Hickory Dickory Dock
  54. Dead Man’s Folly
  55. The Burden
  56. 4.50 from Paddington
  57. Ordeal by Innocence
  58. Cat Among the Pigeons
  59. The Pale Horse
  60. The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side
  61. The Clocks
  62. A Caribbean Mystery
  63. At Bertram’s Hotel 
  64. Third Girl
  65. Endless Night
  66. By the Pricking of My Thumbs
  67. Hallow’en Party
  68. Passenger to Frankfurt
  69. Nemesis
  70. Elephants Can Remember
  71. Postern of Fate
  72. Curtain
  73. Sleeping Murder
  74. Hercule Poirot and Greenshore Folly

Just 70 books left to read! I had thought I would have read more of them by now but I have fallen behind with my reading due to work and studying. I have The Secret in Chimneys lined up to read next.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

WWW Wednesday: 25/08/2021

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?

Hello!

Sorry for been a bit quiet on here recently, I will be honest I have been using my spare time doing a cross stitch instead of reading.

Anyway, I am still doing a bit of reading and here is what I have been up to.

What I am Currently Reading

It took me a while to get into The Familiars as it didn’t hook me in like Mrs England but I am starting to enjoy it now. I am still dipping into The Book Lover’s Bucket List and my list of places I want to visit is growing and growing. Death of Darkness is addictive and I imagine I will be finishing it very soon.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

I struggled to get into this initially but I am glad I didn’t give up as it did improve. Here is my review.

What I Think I will Read Next

I am still sticking with my reading of hardback books at the moment so it will most likely be one of these.

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

Happy Reading.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I am back to work this morning so that will be a shock to the system after a lovely week off. The week off has really helped my reading and blogging this week and I have managed to get a good chunk of my dissertation written as well.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I was good and didn’t buy any books this week.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Sistersong by Lucy Holland (Review)

Sistersong by Lucy Holland

Blurb

535 AD. In the ancient kingdom of Dumnonia, King Cador’s children inherit a fragmented land abandoned by the Romans.

Riva, scarred in a terrible fire, fears she will never heal.

Keyne battles to be seen as the king’s son, when born a daughter.

And Sinne, the spoiled youngest girl, yearns for romance.

All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold – a last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. But change comes on the day ash falls from the sky, bringing Myrddhin, meddler and magician, and Tristan, a warrior whose secrets will tear the siblings apart. Riva, Keyne and Sinne must take fate into their own hands, or risk being tangled in a story they could never have imagined; one of treachery, love and ultimately, murder. It’s a story that will shape the destiny of Britain. 

Review

I will be honest I struggled with this book and at least twice I considered not finishing it. However, I am pleased that I did finish it because it did pick up and I really enjoyed the second half. I think my main problem was that I just found the beginning rather slow and to be honest annoying. 

The story is based around the lives of three sisters and two of these sisters at times drove me mad. Sinne was the worst culprit for driving me mad and it was simply because she was a spoiled brat who was very immature and rather heartless. Sinne spends her time dreaming of romance and adventures and not living in the real world and because of this she does not see what is happening around her or that people she loves are hurting. 

Riva is a troubled character, she was terribly burned in a fire when she was young and although she is now healed but left with scars she is clearly not healed mentally. At times I felt sorry for Riva but I also despaired at her naivety and just wanted to shake her at times. 

Keyne was my favourite character and the reason I carried on reading. Keyne was born a daughter but clearly wants to be a son but nobody sees this in her and everyone just thinks she is a silly girl who dresses in boys’ clothes. As the story goes on you see Keyne develop as a character and become what he was meant to be. Keyne can see in people their true worth and also is not so easy to trust people.

Osred was another favourite of mine, he is sworn to serve Tristan and can not speak but he silently watches and is a true friend to Sinne. Tristan however was not a favourite of mine and I did not trust him at all. 

The book is full of magic and wonder but it is also the tale of three sisters who are so different from each other that only love and their parents really holds them together. It is also an interesting telling of how Christianity was starting to be introduced into Britain. Overall, I give this book 3 out 5 Dragons.

🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

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

Lucy Holland works for Waterstones and has a BA in English and Creative Writing from Royal Holloway. She went on to complete an MA in Creative Writing under Andrew Motion in 2010. Lucy lives in Devon and co-hosts Breaking the Glass Slipper, an award-winning feminist podcast. 

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

WWW Wednesday: 18/08/2021

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?

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I am enjoying my week off so far and have loved meeting friends that I haven’t seen since before covid.

My reading has gone a bit crazy this week, usually I am a one book at a time person but currently I have three books going, which is most unlike me.

Here is my WWW Wednesday!

What I am Currently Reading

The Book Lover’s Bucket List is my dip in book and I absolutely love it. I am building a lovely little list of all the places I desperately want to visit. I am still plodding on with Sistersong and although it isn’t blowing my socks off I am enjoying it but I do find my attention wavering when reading it. I started Death of Darkness over the weekend and I am thoroughly enjoying it and I am wondering why I have put off reading it for so long. Death of Darkness is a kindle book though, so I have slightly deviated from my plan of only reading hardback books this month.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

I spent a lovely afternoon yesterday reading books with my best friends son and these were my two favourites. Due to a busy week dissertation writing these are the only books I have finished this week.

What I Think I will Read Next

I am still only trying to read hardbacks this month and I might continue next month as well because I do have a lot of hardback books to read.

There is my week.

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

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Goodreads Monday: 16/08/2021

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.

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone has had a good start to the week. I am taking a week off teaching this week, so today I have done three hours of dissertation writing, some fun reading, a nice walk and baked some cookies. A very relaxing day.

I am sticking with my classics theme and hopefully I will have built up a nice list of classic books to start reading once the dissertation is all finished and handed in.

Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. Dumas’ epic tale of suffering and retribution, inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, was a huge popular success when it was first serialized in the 1840s.

One of my all time favourite books is The Three Musketeers and I have read it more than once so I really want to read The Count of Monte Cristo to see if it is just as good. I know it will take me a long time to read but I do like reading longer books.

Please drop me a comment if you have read this book, I would love to hear your thoughts. Also please drop me a link to your Goodreads Monday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good weekend so far.

This week has been slightly better for me blogging wise so I hope it continues.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I’ve been struggling to get into this but I will keep trying for a little longer.

So there is another week complete.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you