Christmas Book Haul

Hello!

Today I have had a wonderful day off, as I spent the morning reading and then went and spent the day in Birmingham book shopping and exploring the German Christmas Market.

I had a lot of fun in Waterstones and bought quite a few books and my husband also got some as well so the lady on the check out was quite surprised at the varied selection. I also had a lot of fun looking at the children’s section.

 

Here are my lovely books:-

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I bought this book because my best friend, nicknamed Tufty Seal highly recommends Adam Kay as a writer so I am really looking forward to reading this book.

 

AVGEC

I saw this today and just had to buy it as I absolutely love the film!

 

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I must admit I got this because the cover was pretty, I know very shallow, but sometimes a pretty cover is all you need to buy a book.

 

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I bought this because I loved the last book with Murder Christmas stories I hope this one does not disappoint.

 

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Another book from the Christmas table at Waterstones. I hope it does not disappoint.

 

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This book I got in the children’s section. I always get a version of The Nutcracker each year and this year I got this little one with a pop up surprise at the end!

 

I also got two very pretty decorations from the German Market.

 

Please drop me a comment if you have read any of the books.

Happy Reading.

 

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A Very Murderous Christmas: Ten Classic Crime Stories for the Festive Season by Various Authors (Review)

A Very Murderous Christmas: Ten Classic Crime Stories for the Festive Season by Various Authors and edited by Cecily Gayford

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Blurb

The Christmas season is one of comfort and joy, sparkling lights and steam rising from cups of mulled wine at frosty carol services. A season of goodwill to all men, as families and friends come together to forget their differences and celebrate the year together.

Unless, of course, you happen to be harbouring a grudge. Or hiding a guilty secret. Or you want something so much you just have to have it – whatever the cost. In A Very Murderous Christmas, ten of the best classic crime writers come together to unleash festive havoc, with murder, mayhem and twists aplenty.

Following Murder on Christmas Eve and Murder under the Christmas Tree, this is the perfect accompaniment to a mince pie and a roaring fire. Just make sure you’re really, truly alone …

Review

I bought this book last year just after Christmas so I never read it and thought I would save if for Christmas 2019. I’ve been desperate to start my Christmas reading and so kicked it off by reading this book. I read a short story a night and loved it.

The book has a range of short stories but sadly they are not all murder mysteries and some are just merely mysteries. My favourite story was Camberwell Crackers by Anthony Horowitz, it really made me giggle.

The first story in the book The Man with the Sack by Margery Allingham set the scene of a wonderful Christmas in the old days where the village children would come and visit the big house and someone would dress as Father Christmas and give out presents. I really enjoyed the beginning of this story but must admit I found the ending rather a disappointment and it was all a bit too predictable for me.

The Adventure of the Red Widow by Adrian Conan Doyle and John Dickson Carr was very amusing and it was a nice Sherlock Holmes mystery and I enjoyed the murder mystery immensely but I must admit I found the ending rather sad, not something I wanted from a Christmas book, even a murder mystery Christmas book.

Camberwell Crackers by Anthony Horowitz my absolute favourite of the book and made me giggle. A proper little Christmas story.

The Flying Stars by G. K. Chesterton I must admit I found this story rather annoying in places and rather predictable. Just could not get on with characters in this story and rather pleased it was only short.

A Problem in White by Nicholas Blake this story I did enjoy and loved how it unfurled, a real mystery and set on a train with snow. A perfect Christmas tale with more than one crime to solve.

Loopy by Ruth Rendell now this story I found disturbing and rather worrying. The main character had clearly been over protected by his mother his entire life and also did not live in the real world or cope well when made to deal with it.

Morse’s Greatest Mystery by Colin Dexter. Oh I love a Morse story and this one was excellent. Morse is so eccentric in this story and his usual grumpy self, it did make me laugh.

The Jar of Ginger by Gladys Mitchell. An odd Christmas story and I’m not entirely sure I would have included it in a Christmas book if I had been choosing the stories but the plot was good and overall an interesting concept.

Rumpole and the Old Familiar Faces by John Mortimer. This is another wonderful story that I thoroughly enjoyed. It had all the Christmas requirements: a pantomime, snow, a cold vicarage, Christmas parties and festive spirit. A perfect little Christmas story.

The Problem of Santa’s Lighthouse by Edward Hook. The last story of the book was a great mystery and rather Johnathan Creek in style and not just because of the windmill!

Overall I loved this book and would highly recommend it, especially as you can just dip into it over the festive season. The only reason it didn’t get the full 5/5 Dragons and only 4 was because it did not have a full set of murder mystery stories and because The Flying Stars just annoyed me.

Purchase links;-

Waterstones

Book Depository

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Christmas Reading list: Update

Hello!

So yesterday after spending a great deal of time reading and note taking for my Masters, I decided I would check out Amazon and see if they had any super cheap Christmas books. To be honest I do not usually buy books off Amazon unless it is for my Kindle but yesterday I felt like a treat.

So the list has grown again, I just hope the new books prove to be good. I have also read one of the books on the list and a review will be posted shortly.

The List

A Very Murderous Christmas by various authors

The Night I Met Father Christmas by Ben Miller

Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye

A Very Country Christmas by Zara Stonely

A Literary Christmas: An Anthology

Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles by Phillipa Ashley

 

Please drop me a comment if you have any Christmas book recommendations, as I would love to add to the list.

Happy Reading!

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Christmas Reading List: Update

I am getting so excited for Christmas that I have started reading my Christmas reading list! I will be adding to this list, as at the moment it is way too short. I always go to the German Market in Birmingham to do some Christmas shopping and I always spend a lot of time in Waterstones and that is usually when I get most of my Christmas books, so watch this space!

 

So here is the list in no particular order:-

The Night I Met Father Christmas by Ben Miller

Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye

A Very Murderous Christmas by various authors

A Very Country Christmas by Zara Stonely

A Literary Christmas: An Anthology

 

I have just started reading A Very Murderous Christmas and so far it is proving to be very good.

 

If you have any Christmas books to recommend to me please drop me a comment.

 

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October Wrap Up

Well looking back on October I can say it was thankfully a better month than September.

 

Books read

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

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3/5 Dragons

324 pages

 

Classics: A Very Short Introduction by Mary Beard and John Henderson

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4/5 Dragons

145 Pages

 

Girl in Trouble by Stacy Claflin

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3/5 Dragons

317 pages

 

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

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5/5 Dragons

422 pages

(If you click the image it will take you to the review)

Total pages this month: 1208

Total pages this year: 12897

 

Here’s to another good month of reading.

 

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The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs (Review)

The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs

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About the author

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John Belliars (1938-1991) was an award-winning American author of many gothic mystery novels for children and young adults.

Blurb

When orphaned Lewis Barnavelt comes to live with his Uncle Jonathan, he is amazed to find out there is a wizard in his family.

Lewis experiments with Uncle Jonathan’s spells and uncovers the mystery behind the ticking that he can hear throughout the house, sometimes loud, sometimes quiet, sometimes fast, sometimes slow. It’s an evil clock and it could destroy humankind.

It is up to the Barnavelt’s to find where the clock is hidden in the walls – and stop it.

Review

I bought this book ages ago and it has just been sat in a pile gathering dust but I spotted it the other day and thought that looks like a fun quick read and thankfully I was correct. As I have mentioned previously I do enjoy reading children’s books and especially enjoy reading them when I’m very busy or stressed. I can truthfully say I loved this book and could not put it down.

The three main characters Lewis, Uncle Jonathan and Mrs Zimmermann were fantastic. I especially loved the character of Mrs Zimmermann who isn’t afraid of anything and speaks her mind and has an unhealthy obsession with the colour purple. She just seems to be the ultimate cool aunt figure.

Uncle Jonathan is the ultimate cool uncle, teaching Lewis to play poker and letting him stay up late and basically doing what he likes within reason. Lewis is the typical child who doesn’t quite fit in at school but has found his happy place living with his Uncle because as the story develops you can see that Uncle and nephew are rather alike.

Overall I loved the storyline and it kept me hooked from the start, the idea of magic being in a house and its walls was fantastic and in places it was rather spooky although that part was rather rushed through but that was probably because it is a children’s book. The only issue I had with the story was the lack of story about the actual clock, considering the book is about the clock in the walls it hardly features and it just feels like a very rushed ending.

I give this book 4 out of 5 dragons because of the lack of clock in the story. I highly recommend it to children and adults alike. A really good read that keeps you hooked from beginning to end.

Purchase links

Waterstones

Book Depository

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Book Haul 28/10/2019

Hello everyone!

Well today is my first day of half term and I celebrated by having a lie in and a leisurely day. I had to run into our nearest town to run some errands and my husband suggested visiting Waterstones for a browse. Well a browse is something that never happens with me, it always ends in buying books. I was just going to buy Now You See Them by Elly Griffiths but my husband said that Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver looked good so I ended up buying another book because it was on buy one get one half price.

Not too much damage with just three books bought.

Now You See Them by Elly Griffiths

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Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver

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A Keeper by Graham Norton

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Please drop me a comment if you have read any of these books. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy reading.

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