May 2019 Wrap Up

Well another month is over and a new one has begun, so I thought I had better reflect on May. In my reflection of May I realise just how little reading I did. No wonder I’ve felt stressed, if I don’t read enough I always get grumpy. June I must read more!

Firstly, I would like to say a big thank you for all the likes and comments in May and also a big hello to my new followers, I hope you will enjoy reading my blog.

There were good elements of May on the blog, for one thing we celebrated Star Wars Day and I have decided to tackle my first every reading challenge over the Summer, which I am very excited about.

Sadly, I only managed to read 5 rather short books over May. Here they are (if you click the picture it will take you to the review):-

Star Sullivan by Maeve Binchy

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128 pages

3/5 Dragons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under the Garden by Graham Greene

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87 pages

3/5 Dragons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Brontesaurus: An A-Z of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte (and Branwell) by John Sutherland

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176 pages

5/5 Dragons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen

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324 pages

5/5 Dragons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too Many Coincidences by Jeffrey Archer

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40 pages

1/5 Dragons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total pages:- 755

Total pages this year so far: 7420

Rather disappointing I know but fingers crossed for a better month in June.

 

Poems Celebrated in May 2019

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

Life by Charlotte Bronte

There Is No Frigate Like A Book by Emily Dickinson

Mary Celeste by Judith Nicholls

The Throstle by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

 

Quotes Celebrated in May 2019

Laozi

William Congreve

Robert Frost

George Eliot

Claude Debussy

 

So that is my month of May, hopefully June will be better on the reading front. I hope you all had a good May and have some exciting plans for June.

Please drop me a link to your May Wrap Ups I would love to read them.

Happy Reading.

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Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge

Hello my fellow Book Dragons!

I have a confession to make.

I have never done a reading challenge before, other than setting myself a certain number of books to read every year on Goodreads. So this year I have decided to give this a go as I have a very long flight coming up in the summer to go on my holibobs and sadly come home back to work. Will also probably be doing quite a bit of reading whilst on holiday as we have a beach right next to our hotel.

There are two challenges, the beginner one and the expert level one. I will be sticking with the beginner one as it is my first challenge and do not want to set myself up for a fall.

The Beginner Challenge has the following prompts:-

  •  Good as gold: Read a book that won a Goodreads Choice Award.
  •  The book is better: Read a book being adapted for TV or film this year.
  •  Short & sweet: Read a book with less than 100 pages (or a book you can finish in one sitting).
  •  On the bandwagon: Read one of the “most read” books right now on Goodreads.
  •  Actually want to read: Read a book that’s been on your Want to Read shelf for more than a year.
  •  Not from around here: Read a book set in a different culture from your own.
  •  In the friend zone: Read a book that a friend has recommended.
  •  It takes two: Read a coauthored book.
  •  Wheel of format: Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read in (a graphic novel, poetry, a play,
    an audiobook, etc.).
  •  New voices: Read a debut novel.
  •  Past love: Reread a book you loved when you were younger.
  •  Armchair traveler: Read a book set in a destination you want to visit.

I must admit I am excited to start the challenge and also rather nervous, I really want to complete the challenge and not let myself down. The first day of summer is Friday 21st June but I am not entirely sure I can wait that long to start but I will try, I will plan my books to read on the run up. I think I will most likely do most of this challenge whilst on holiday, the question is do I do the challenge in order?

I would love to hear about the reading challenges my fellow book dragons have completed or attempted, please let me know. Also any advice would be most welcome on my challenge.

I will keep you posted.

Happy Reading and have a glorious bank holiday weekend.

Happy Star Wars Day!

May the 4th be with you all!

Yes, I love Star Wars and to me 4th May is Star Wars Day.

From an early age I have been obsessed with the Star Wars franchise I have even read a lot of the books attached to the franchise. I remember getting all the books I could find attached to the making of the movies and reading everything I could about them. All in all I love Star Wars and thankfully so does my husband.

I think the old traditional fight of good versus evil fought across galaxies is the main reason I love the story but also because hey lightsabers are amazing!

So if you are also a massive Star Wars fan like myself please feel free to comment with your reasons for the franchise addiction.

Lady Book Dragon.

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April 2019 Wrap Up

Well April hasn’t been exactly as I expected. To be honest I wanted to do a lot more reading but I have struggled to get any real reading done this month. However I have done some Waterstones adventures, so that makes me feel better.

Books I have Read

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy by Tim Burton

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Thorns in a Realm of Roses: The Henry Queens by Thomas Crockett

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The Time for Murder is Meow by T. C. LoTempio

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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

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Click on the pictures to go to the reviews.

 

Waterstones Stores Visited

Walsall

Peterborough

Wells

 

Poems from April

Last Words by Peter Porter

The Railway Children by Seamus Heaney

Good Friday by Christina Rossetti

St George and the Dragon by Finola Akister

My favourite was Good Friday by Christina Rossetti, I plan on getting the complete poems by Rossetti soon as I really want to read more.

 

A good month but I hope in May I manage to read a few more books. I must admit I am really enjoying NetGalley and the new books I get to read. I hope everyone had a good April.

Lady Book Dragon.

 

Down the TBR Hole #7

Time for another installment of Down the TBR Hole!

Down the TBR Hole was the brain child of Lost In A Story. The idea is to reduce the length of your Goodreads TBR.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads want to read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 or 10 books.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go

The list is now at 482, lets see if we can shrink it a little bit more.

 

  1. The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell

31171Elizabeth Gaskell’s The Life of Charlotte Bronte (1857) is a pioneering biography of one great Victorian woman novelist by another. Gaskell was a friend of Bronte’s and, having been invited to write the official life, determined to both tell the truth and honor her friend. This edition collates all three previous editions, as well as the manuscript, offering fuller information about the process of writing and a more detailed explanation of the text than any previous edition.

 

 

I was sure I had read this book but it appears no where on any of my old reading journals or Goodreads so obviously I have not read it. I do own it so I might have just read bits of it dipping in when I’m in the mood. This will stay on the list because I would like to read it all at some point.

KEEP

 

2. What Katy Did by Susan Collidge

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Twelve-year-old Katy is constantly making and quickly breaking resolutions about how she will change her ways and treat others, especially her five younger brothers and sisters, with more respect and compassion. When Katy meets her Cousin Helen, an invalid, Katy is awed by her kindness, prettiness, and generosity. Katy is determined to become more like Helen, a resolution that lasts only a few hours. Soon, however, Katy gets a chance to become more like cousin Helen than she ever wished as she finds herself confined to her bedroom for four years as a result of an accident. Much of the story is focused on the change Katy undergoes during her illness. Helen visits again to advise Katy to learn from her experience and to try to become the center of the house by making her room and herself more attractive to others. One way Katy decides to take Helen’s advice is through assuming the responsibility of running the house, a job that consists of giving the servants instructions and ringing her bell to summon her sisters when she has a task for them. As soon as Katy has learned the lesson about how to care for others, she recovers and regains the ability to walk.

This definitely stays on the list! I love the blurb and want to dig out my copy and read it straight away. A book I have long forgotten and this needs to be corrected.

KEEP

 

3. Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore

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A romantic adventure story set in south-west England in the 1600s. John Ridd swears revenge upon the evil Carver Doone who murdered his father. But who is the beautiful young girl he meets in Doone Valley?

 

This is a real mystery as I have already read it! I have many copies of this book, one a very treasured copy that my mom gave me, which she won at school when she was little. My parents took me on holiday to Lorna Doone country and I read the book whilst on holiday. I really do not understand why it is on this list. Anyway it leaves the list and goes on the Read list instead, but I think I will read it again in the future.

GO 

 

4. Homeland by R. A. Salvatore

 

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Drow ranger Drizzt Do’Urden, first introduced in The Icewind Dale Trilogy, quickly became one of the fantasy genre’s standout characters. But Homeland first reveals the startling tale of how this one lone drow walked out of the shadowy depths of the Underdark, leaving behind a society of evil and a family who want him dead. It is here that the story of this amazing dark elf truly began.

To be honest I do not remember adding this book or why. It is also a series and I’m really struggling committing to series at the moment. So I am afraid it is bye-bye for this book.

GO

 

 

5. The Railway Man by Eric Lomax

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During the second world war Eric Lomax was forced to work on the notorious Burma-Siam Railway and was tortured by the Japanese for making a crude radio.

Left emotionally scarred and unable to form normal relationships Lomax suffered for years until, with the help of his wife Patti and the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, he came to terms with what had happened and, fifty years after the terrible events, was able to meet one of his tormentors.

 

 

This has been on the list for a while and to be honest after seeing the film I am not sure I can cope with the book. I found the film very sad and disturbing and I do not think I want to relive it in the book.

GO.

Fantastic 3 down this time. I was planning on trying to do 10 books today but we are having major issues with our wi-fi and I have lost the will to live trying to use Goodreads and the fact that everything I was writing was failing to save on WordPress. Thankfully my phones hotspot came to the rescue to finish the job.

Anyway, 3 down is a massive improvement and the total has gone down to 479! Next week I definitely plan on doing 10 books, otherwise I will be here for years if I keep just doing 5 books.

Happy Reading!

Lady Book Dragon.

Down the TBR Hole #6

Happy Easter weekend everyone! I hope you are all having a nice relaxing and book filled long weekend.

Down the TBR Hole was the brain child of Lost In A Story. The idea is to reduce the length of your Goodreads TBR.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads want to read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 or 10 books.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go

The list is now at 484, lets see if we can shrink it a little bit more.

1. Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind

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In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher’s forest sanctuary seeking help . . . and more.

His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence. In a dark age it takes courage to live, and more than mere courage to challenge those who hold dominion, Richard and Kahlan must take up that challenge or become the next victims. Beyond awaits a bewitching land where even the best of their hearts could betray them. Yet, Richard fears nothing so much as what secrets his sword might reveal about his own soul. Falling in love would destroy them—for reasons Richard can’t imagine and Kahlan dare not say.

In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword—to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed . . . or that their time has run out.

This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend.

This book has been on my list since 2014 and to be honest I really do not think I will read it. Terry Goodkind books tend to put me off to be honest because they seem to always be on the long side.

GO

2. Sylvia’s Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell

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A very powerfully moving novel of a young woman caught between the attractions of two very different men, Sylvia’s Lovers is set in the 1790s in an English seaside town. England is at war with France, and press-gangs wreak havoc by seizing young men for service. One of their victims is a whaling harpooner named Charley Kinraid, whose charm and vivacity have captured the heart of Sylvia Robson. But Sylvia’s devoted cousin, Philip Hepburn, hopes to marry her himself and, in order to win her, deliberately withholds crucial information—with devastating consequences.
The introduction discusses the novel’s historical and geographical authenticity, as well as its innovative treatment of gender and human relationships

I think over time I have put all of Gaskell’s books on my TBR. I do plan on reading them all so I will keep this one on the list, I also really like the blurb.

KEEP

3. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

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Brought up at Dorlcote Mill, Maggie Tulliver worships her brother Tom and is desperate to win the approval of her parents, but her passionate, wayward nature and her fierce intelligence bring her into constant conflict with her family. As she reaches adulthood, the clash between their expectations and her desires is painfully played out as she finds herself torn between her relationships with three very different men: her proud and stubborn brother, a close friend who is also the son of her family’s worst enemy, and a charismatic but dangerous suitor. With its poignant portrayal of sibling relationships, The Mill on the Floss is considered George Eliot’s most autobiographical novel; it is also one of her most powerful and moving.

This has been sat on my bookshelf for ages! I really should read it, for now it will stay on the list.

KEEP

4. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

264When Isabel Archer, a beautiful, spirited American, is brought to Europe by her wealthy Aunt Touchett, it is expected that she will soon marry. But Isabel, resolved to determine her own fate, does not hesitate to turn down two eligible suitors. She then finds herself irresistibly drawn to Gilbert Osmond, who, beneath his veneer of charm and cultivation, is cruelty itself. A story of intense poignancy, Isabel’s tale of love and betrayal still resonates with modern audiences.

 

 

 

 

I’m not a fan of Henry James to be honest and have struggled in the past to get into his books. Therefore this book will be coming off the list.

GO

5. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

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In a fit of drunken anger, Michael Henchard sells his wife and baby daughter for five guineas at a country fair. Over the course of the following years, he manages to establish himself as a respected and prosperous pillar of the community of Casterbridge, but behind his success there always lurk the shameful secret of his past and a personality prone to self-destructive pride and temper. Subtitled ‘A Story of a Man of Character’, Hardy’s powerful and sympathetic study of the heroic but deeply flawed Henchard is also an intensely dramatic work, tragically played out against the vivid backdrop of a close-knit Dorsetshire town.

 

 

 

I have read a lot of Hardy’s books and I think he is brilliant so this definitely stays on the list.

KEEP

Well a few more have left the list and it is now down to 482. Slowly but surely the list is getting smaller.

Lady Book Dragon.

Down the TBR Hole #5

Back again!

I hope you have all had a good weekend, full of books and relaxation.

Down the TBR Hole was the brain child of Lost In A Story. The idea is to reduce the length of your Goodreads TBR.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads want to read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 or 10 books.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go

The TBR is currently at 486, lets see if we can get that to shrink a little.

1. Middlemarch by George Eliot

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Taking place in the years leading up to the First Reform Bill of 1832, Middlemarch explores nearly every subject of concern to modern life: art, religion, science, politics, self, society, human relationships. Among her characters are some of the most remarkable portraits in English literature: Dorothea Brooke, the heroine, idealistic but naive; Rosamond Vincy, beautiful and egoistic: Edward Casaubon, the dry-as-dust scholar: Tertius Lydgate, the brilliant but morally-flawed physician: the passionate artist Will Ladislaw: and Fred Vincey and Mary Garth, childhood sweethearts whose charming courtship is one of the many humorous elements in the novel’s rich comic vein.

 

I tried to read this book many years ago and to be honest I gave up. However, I do plan on giving this book another go as I now have a better copy as the copy I tried to read previously had extremely small print.

KEEP

 

2. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell

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This is Elizabeth Gaskell’s first novel, a widely acclaimed work based on the actual murder, in 1831, of a progressive mill owner. It follows Mary Barton, daughter of a man implicated in the murder, through her adolescence, when she suffers the advances of the mill owner, and later through
love and marriage. Set in Manchester, between 1837-42, it paints a powerful and moving picture of working-class life in Victorian England.

 

 

 

 

Another book I own and ashamed to say I have not read yet. I will keep this book on the list, I have been a bit lax recently on reading the classics so I will put this on my classic list to get reading.

KEEP

 

3. I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

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Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books–but we are real.

Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. We have lived among you without you knowing.

But they know.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.

I am Number Four.

I am next.

I remember seeing the film of this in the cinema and thinking I must read this book so it went straight on the list. However, I am no closer to reading it and to be honest feel like I might have out grown the story so I will take this one-off the list.

GO

 

4. The Warden by Anthony Trollope

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The Warden centers on Mr. Harding, a clergyman of great personal integrity who is nevertheless in possession of an income from a charity far in excess of the sum devoted to the purposes of the foundation. On discovering this, young John Bold turns his reforming zeal to exposing what he regards as an abuse of privilege, despite the fact that he is in love with Mr. Harding’s daughter Eleanor. It was a highly topical novel (a case regarding the misapplication of church funds was the scandalous subject of contemporary debate), but like other great Victorian novelists, Trollope uses the specific case to explore and illuminate the universal complexities of human motivation and social morality

 

I’m not entirely sure why I chose this book by Trollope as he wrote so many, there are a lot to choose from. I do not actually own this book so I think I will also remove it off the list.

GO

 

5. Daniel Deronda by George Eliot

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George Eliot’s final novel and her most ambitious work, Daniel Deronda contrasts the moral laxity of the British aristocracy with the dedicated fervor of Jewish nationalists. Crushed by a loveless marriage to the cruel and arrogant Grandcourt, Gwendolen Harleth seeks salvation in the deeply spiritual and altruistic Daniel Deronda. But Deronda, profoundly affected by the discovery of his Jewish ancestry, is ultimately too committed to his own cultural awakening to save Gwendolen from despair.

 

 

 

 

I love the sound of this book so it definitely stays on the list and I will be buying a copy soon. Very excited to read this book.

KEEP

 

Only two books to leave the list this week but that has got the total down to 484. Slowly but surely it is shrinking.

I would love to hear if anybody has read any of these books, or if you are also doing the same book tag. Please feel free to drop me a comment.

Lady Book Dragon.