Friday Poetry: William Shakespeare

Happy Friday!

I have gone for another Shakespeare Sonnet and this one I think is perfect for Autumn.

Sonnet 73

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
William Shakespeare
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This and That Thursday


Well this week has been full of studying, reading and Christmas shopping! Yes I have started Christmas shopping, please don’t hate me. I never usually start this early but I took advantage of the double stamps at Waterstones. I always love giving books for presents, I always find it magical.

So here is what else I have been up to.


We had a lovely walk on Tuesday after I had finished teaching in the morning. I really needed a change of scene and it was just the tonic I needed as the sun was shining and it was wonderful.

Cat Pictures

Also this week my phone decided to form a video of the recent cat photos I have taken which has made me realise just how many cat photos I am taking.


I will be honest my week has mainly involved studying and binge watching Criminal Minds. I did however get a new desk this week which was very exciting as it is yellow!


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WWW Wednesday: 13/10/2020

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?


Yay! Finally I have finished a book and can take part in WWW Wednesday. I have tried to read too many books at once and got a bit overwhelmed and so my reading has suffered.

What I am Currently Reading

Still plodding with the Aeneid but going on really well with Anna of Kleve.


What I Have Recently Finished Reading


Really enjoyed this, click the picture for the review.


What I Plan to Read Next

It could be any of these or none of these, it all depends on what mood I’m in.


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


Top 5 Tuesday: What are your favourite books that have ghosts.

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

This is tricky one for me as I tend to not be that fond of Ghost stories as I find them a bit silly but here are the ones I like.


Dead Men by Richard Pierce

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Fireside Gothic by Andrew Taylor

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill


Drop me a link with your Top 5 Tuesday and I will head over for a visit.

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Mantel Pieces: Royal Bodies and Other Writing from the London Review of Books by Hilary Mantel (Review)

Mantel Pieces: Royal Bodies and Other Writing from the London Review of Books by Hilary Mantel.


In 1987, when Hilary Mantel was first published in the London Review of Books, she wrote to the editor, Karl Miller, ‘I have no critical training whatsoever, so I am forced to be more brisk and breezy than scholarly.’ This collection of twenty reviews, essays and pieces of memoir from the next three decades, tells the story of what happened next.

Her subjects range far and wide: Robespierre and Danton, the Hite report, Saudi Arabia where she lived for four years in the 1980s, the Bulger case, John Osborne, the Virgin Mary as well as the pop icon Madonna, a brilliant examination of Helen Duncan, Britain’s last witch. There are essays about Jane Boleyn, Charles Brandon, Christopher Marlowe and Margaret Pole, which display the astonishing insight into the Tudor mind we are familiar with from the bestselling Wolf Hall Trilogy. Her famous lecture, ‘Royal Bodies’, which caused a media frenzy, explores the place of royal women in society and our imagination. Here too are some of her LRB diaries, including her first meeting with her stepfather and a confrontation with a circus strongman.


I was really excited when this arrived in my parcel box and thought it would be the ideal book to just dip in and out of when I felt like it. How wrong was I? I began reading it and could not put it down so my other books had to sit on the bedside table for a while.

I loved this glimpse into Mantel’s career as a reviewer and some of her reviews have made me desperately want to read the books. I wasn’t terribly interested in the notes to and from her editor to be honest and really did not like her entry from her diary after her operation but the rest of the book I loved.

As a reviewer Mantel is brilliant. She clearly does a great deal of research around the subject of the book she is reviewing and reads other connecting works and quotes these in her reviews. Mantel’s reviews are also not short but weighty chapters all on their own. This all means that the reader gets a thorough briefing about the book they might want to read and whether it is worth spending the money on the book.

I will be honest I did find Mantel rather anti Catholic in her writing and she isn’t the kindest to the royal family either. I particularly felt sorry for the Queen in her one item. Mantel is an excellent writer though and this definitely comes across in her collection of reviews and essays. Some of my favourite pieces included In Bed with Madonna 1992, On Marie Antoinette 1999 and Jane Boleyn.

I thoroughly recommend this book to all Mantel fans and to those who have never read her work before. It is a perfect book to dip in and out of or just read from cover to cover like I did. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons.

About the Author


Hilary Mantel was born in 1952 and is an English writer. Mantel was the first woman to receive the Booker Prize twice for her books Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. Mantel published her first book Every Day is Mother’s Day in 1985 and began reviewing films and books for a number of magazines and papers.


Purchase Links

Book DepositoryFoylesWaterstonesWordery 

(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)

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First Lines Friday: 9/10/2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!


It’s time to get guessing that book! The answer is below the cats.

“When I was born, the name for what I was did not exist. They called me nymph, assuming I would be like my mother and aunts and thousand cousins.”




and the answer is…


In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

Drop me a link with your First Lines Friday and I will head over for a visit.

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Friday Poetry: T. E. Hulme

Happy Friday!

I hope you all have fantastic weekend plans which involves books, snuggly blankets and a hot chocolate or two.

Due to it being Autumn I have chosen an Autumn poem.



A touch of cold in the Autumn night –

I walked abroad,

And saw the ruddy moon lean over hedge

Like a red-faced farmer.

I did not stop to speak, but nodded,

And round about were the wistful stars

With white faces like town children.


T. E. Hulme


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This and That Thursday


So this week has included lots of studying again but today I also had a lovely surprise whilst visiting my mom. My sister who lives in Scotland and who I haven’t seen for two years has come down to the West Midlands because my nephew is trying to do his theory for driving a bus and he can’t get one in Scotland so they have come down to take the test and also socially distance see the family. It was wonderful to see my sister and three nephews but I must admit I did miss being able to give my sister a hug.

So here is what else I have been up to this week


The scarf is almost done, I am not looking forward to sewing all the ends in though. I always find the sewing and sewing of ends to be the worst part of knitting. I am already planning new projects to attempt after the scarf.

Halloween Decorating

Yes, I know we aren’t quite at Halloween yet but I have already started decorating the house and Eeyore is very excited to be joining in.



I’ve started exercising more again and I am working on my flexibility and strength. I have challenged myself to be able to do the splits at some point. Most likely it will never happen but I will be happy if I get to be a bit more flexible.


We are still watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and are now on Season 6, I really did not enjoy the musical episode we watched last night! We have also started watching Spooks which I haven’t seen for years and never actually saw the first 3 seasons.

So there is my week. I hope everyone is also having a good week.

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