Book Club

Hello!

I hope this post finds everyone safe and well.

So, since Monday we have been on lockdown but before this my husband and myself started self shielding from Wednesday last week as my health is not great, so other than going out for a walk each day and checking on our parents we have been at home. This has meant lots more reading, studying, music and just generally wondering what to do next. I have now started to write a daily To-do list!

However, before the self shielding a local independent bookshop that set up in the town where my sister lives announced they were planning on starting a Book Club. I was very excited about this because I’ve always wanted to join a Book Club but because of work etc I’ve never found one that I can actually get to. This Book Club was going to be on my day off though, so I was planning on joining. Then things got put on hold due to the present circumstances we all find ourselves in. However, I am pleased to announce the book shop has decided to set the Book Club up on Facebook and have accepted my request to join.

This wonderful book shop is called Wyre Forest Books which is in Bewdley, and I was so excited when it opened as some of my fondest memories as a child were visiting an independent book shop called Bewdley Books and sometimes following our visit with a visit to a little sweet shop, what could be better than books and sweets? So I made sure I visited the new book shop as soon as I could. Now I am very worried about this book shop and all independent book shops during this difficult time and want to do my part in keeping them going. However, I am also not currently working and as I am self employed not earning so fund wise I don’t really have many pennies to spare and have decided that if I want to buy a book I will use whatever Waterstones points I have. But to support Wyre Forest Books today I gave them a ring and ordered the first club book read and I plan on ordering all future Book Club reads from there, funds allowing.

So what is the book?

The book is Half a World Away by Mike Gayle

51PLJSeQLsL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Strangers living worlds apart.
Strangers with nothing in common.

But it wasn’t always that way…

Kerry Hayes is single mum, living on a tough south London estate. She provides for her son by cleaning houses she could never hope to afford. Taken into care as a child, Kerry cannot ever forget her past.

Noah Martineau is a successful barrister with a beautiful wife, daughter and home in fashionable Primrose Hill. Adopted as a child, Noah always looks forward, never back.

When Kerry reaches out to the sibling she lost on the day they were torn apart as children, she sets in motion a chain of events that will have life-changing consequences for them both.

 

Mike Gayle was meant to be visiting Wyre Forest Books but has sadly had to cancel due to present circumstances but is planning to visit when hopefully normality returns. Hopefully I might get my copy signed!

So that is my exciting news! I will keep you updated about my Book Club adventures.

Here is the Facebook link to my little book shop Wyre Forest Books

My final word today though is support your local book shop if you can, let’s help keep them going so we have a wonderful shop to visit when all this is over and not another closed book shop never to return again. Order a book over the phone or online, buy a book voucher, anything to keep them going, and if you can’t support them financially give them a like and share on social media and show them some love. Thank you my fellow Book Dragons!

Please drop me a comment for a chat!

Stay safe everyone.

Happy Reading

lady book dragon signature 250w

Friday Poetry: R. S. Thomas

Happy Friday!

I must admit currently the only thing keeping me on track knowing the days of the week is this blog as I am all over the place with not working. I am trying to stay busy though with reading, studying, exercise and a Christmas jigsaw I found. I know it isn’t Christmas but nothing is right at the moment. I have a few lessons booked up to teach online so that will be interesting as I have never taught online before.

Anyway it is poem time…

The Small Window

 

In Wales there are jewels

To gather, but with the eye

Only. A hill lights up

Suddenly; a field trembles

With colour and goes out

In its turn; in one day

You can witness the extent

Of the spectrum and grow rich

With looking. Have a care;

The wealth is for the few

And chosen. Those who crowd

A small window dirty it

With their breathing, though sublime

And inexhaustible the view.

 

R. S. Thomas

 

lady book dragon signature 250w

WWW Wednesday- 25/03/2020

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and a 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 well and getting lots of reading done whilst we are all at home. I myself have managed to get a bit more reading done recently. So here is my WWW Wednesday…

 

What I am currently reading

9781982123840

Just the one book at the moment but I am dipping into several poetry books. I was planning on reading another book before this but I changed my mind.

 

What I recently finished reading

Two of the books I read for my course and I will admit I loved the Euripides! I finally finished The Enterprise War which has taken me forever and to be honest I am glad that is over as it just dragged so much.

What I will read next

I will put these two on the list but who knows as I do tend to change my mind. I had planned to read The Lantern Men next but decided to stick with Star Trek so we will wait and see what happens when I finish my current read.

 

So that is my WWW Wednesday! Please drop me a comment with the link to your WWW Wednesday or let me know your thoughts on my chosen reads or both.

Stay safe my fellow book dragons.

lady book dragon signature 250w

Mid Week Quote: Isaac Newton

Hello!

I hope this post finds everyone well and safe. I must admit I am finding it very strange not working. I am reading more and studying so I am trying to fill my days productively.

So here is my chosen quote but I will just mention that this quote is only attributed to Isaac Newton.

 

“Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.”

 

Isaac Newton (c. 1650)

 

Happy reading and stay safe everyone.

lady book dragon signature 250w

Andromache, Hecuba, Trojan Women by Euripides (Review)

Andromache, Hecuba, Trojan Women by Euripides

51w-HNeMQML._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

About the author

973.jpg

Euripides (Ancient Greek: Εὐριπίδης) (ca. 480 BC–406 BC) was the last of the three great tragedians of classical Athens (the other two being Aeschylus and Sophocles). Ancient scholars thought that Euripides had written ninety-five plays, although four of those were probably written by Critias. Eighteen of Euripides’ plays have survived complete. It is now widely believed that what was thought to be a nineteenth, Rhesus, was probably not by Euripides. Fragments, some substantial, of most of the other plays also survive. More of his plays have survived than those of Aeschylus and Sophocles together, partly because of the chance preservation of a manuscript that was probably part of a complete collection of his works in alphabetical order.

Blurb

Diane Arnson Svarlien’s translation of Euripides’ Andromache, Hecuba, and Trojan Women exhibits the same scholarly and poetic standards that have won praise for her Alcestis, Medea, Hippolytus. Ruth Scodel’s Introduction examines the cultural and political context in which Euripides wrote, and provides analysis of the themes, structure, and characters of the plays included. Her notes offer expert guidance to readers encountering these works for the first time.

Review

I got this book because Trojan Women is a set text that I am studying for my course but I must admit that I enjoyed reading Trojan Women so much I read the whole book.

I found the introduction and notes by Ruth Scodel hugely informative and really helpful with my research but also not too in depth and easy to read which was wonderful because sometimes introductions can be a bit of bore I find.

Andromache

I loved this play and my heart bled for poor Andromache, she really has not had the best of lives having already suffered losing her child and husband in Troy she now suffers in her new home as Neoptolemus’ concubine and risks losing everything including her life again.

Andromache is a wonderful character who tries to do everything she can to save her own life and her child’s and works out a plan that if it works should keep them both safe.

Hermione is a spoilt brat who is used to getting her own way and will do anything to get it and her father will let her get her own way. I found her character rather annoying but you could tell that was what Euripides was after.

My favourite character was Peleus, he was a true gentleman who though mature in years was not frightened to stand up for the weak and vulnerable and send Menelaus scurrying off with his tail between his legs.

I loved this play and would love to see it on stage one day.

Hecuba

Wow! What a character Hecuba is in this play. After everything she has been through with the fall of Troy and the knowledge that her future is bleak she still has strength.

Hecuba has lost her kingdom, her husband, most of her children but she believes her one son and some Trojan treasure is safe with a family friend Polymestor. However, she discovers that her beloved son Polydorus is no longer safe and Hecuba seeks revenge.

Agamemnon in this play seems very different to the Agamemnon that I am used to. He listens to Hecuba’s plea and lets her carry out her plan. He shows pity and in my opinion almost reverence for the fallen queen.

I loved this play because it showed the true power of a woman who seeks revenge.

Trojan Women

This play was heart breaking, you can’t help but feel sorry for the women of Troy and see the unfairness of war on those who are left behind.

Hecuba in this play disappointed me slightly because when she was mourning what she had lost the main thing she kept focusing on was her kingdom and the fact she was no longer queen. Her lost family always seemed to be an after thought.

Cassandra was perfect in my opinion and a hard act for any actress to perform. Poor Cassandra who has been dealt such a hard blow and is now mad.

Andromache, the perfect wife who is now left with nothing who you can’t help but pity. A stark contrast to Helen that you can’t help but hate.

Helen, the woman who brings destruction wherever she goes but gets away with it because of her beauty. Menelaus was basically a lamb to slaughter where Helen was concerned. As much as the women of Troy hated her and Hecuba made the case pretty clear that Helen should be punished, you just know that Menelaus will buckle and let Helen get away with her deeds.

All in all I loved these plays and thought the translation by Diane Arnson Svarlien was really well done, the added stage directions were also excellent. I give this book a big 5 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase Links

Book Depository

Waterstones

(Please note these are affiliate links and if you use them I get a small % that I can use to keep my blog going. Thank you for your support)

lady book dragon signature 250w

 

9XAbBSPtSl+3DbBhRN2CaA

Star Trek Discovery: The Enterprise War (Review)

Star Trek Discovery: The Enterprise War by John Jackson Miller

51vsUuGCaHL._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_

About the author

20028

John Jackson Miller is the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Star Trek: Prey trilogy (Hell’s Heart, The Jackal’s Trick, The Hall of Heroes) and the novels Star Trek: The Next Generation: Takedown; Star Wars: A New Dawn; Star Wars: Kenobi Star Wars: Knight Errant; Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith-The Collected Stories; and fifteen Star Wars graphic novels, as well as the original work Overdraft: The Orion Offensive. He has also written the eNovella Star Trek: Titan: Absent Enemies. A comics industry historian and analyst, he has written for franchises including Halo, Conan, Iron Man, Indiana Jones, Battlestar Galactica, Mass Effect, and The Simpsons. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife, two children, and far too many comic books.

Blurb

Hearing of the outbreak of hostilities between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire, Captain Christopher Pike attempts to bring the U.S.S. Enterprise home to join in the fight. But in the hellish nebula known as the Pergamum, the stalwart commander instead finds an epic battle of his own, pitting ancient enemies against one another – with not just the Enterprise but also her crew as the spoils of war.

Lost and out of contact with Earth for an entire year, Pike and his trusted first officer, Number One, struggle to find and reunite the ship’s crew – all while Science Officer Spock confronts a mystery that puts even his exceptional skills to the test… with more than their own survival possibly riding on the outcome…

Review

I will be honest I struggled with this book, the first half just dragged but thankfully the second half improved otherwise I’m not sure I would have lasted. The book just felt like it had a load of irrelevant scenes that did nothing to add to the storyline and the book could have been a lot shorter in my opinion.

I did enjoy the storyline of the two battling alien races and the Enterprise stuck in the middle of the war. My favourite character in the book wasn’t actually a member of the Enterprise but one of aliens called Baladon. I really enjoyed his humour and the way he adapted into the way of life of his kidnappers, it was like he had never found anywhere where he truly belonged and he had finally found that place even if it was in a war zone. I also liked the character of Connolly and the friendship between him and Baladon, their interactions were very funny.

Sadly, I did not like Una i.e Number One and just struggled with her character and I found Christopher Pike a little bit dull. They just both seemed to be lacking for me. I did enjoy the character of Spock and found that his experience made a lot of sense with the TV series and I was pleased to see it all linking together and I did feel really sorry for poor Spock and the suffering he was going through.

Out of all the Discovery books so far I found this one my least favourite and I really hope the next one is better as I have loved the series so far. If this book had been shorter I think I would have enjoyed it more so I have given this book 3 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase Links

Amazon

Book Depository

Waterstones

lady book dragon signature 250w

 

0UZB+uDqS9mB4zC%EKZCiQ.jpg

Sunday Reflections: John 9:1-41

Hello!

It is Sunday, although it doesn’t feel like a Sunday, I fear all the days are rolling into one. So to prevent this and to mark Sunday’s I have decided to take one of the readings from the Sunday lectionary and write some of my thoughts down about the reading. I am hoping to start Reader training next year so hopefully this will be good practice. I must admit it feels very strange not to be playing the organ for a church service this Sunday. I hope everyone remains safe and well in these scary times.

The reading I have chosen is John 9: 1-41 the reading is here.

John 9:1-41

Reflections

My first thought about this reading is that Jesus notices the people in the background. The blind man has been a beggar for most of his life as he cannot work due to his condition, people know he is there but over time have ceased to see him and he has faded into the background. However, Jesus has noticed him and because Jesus has noticed him so have his disciples. The disciples’ first reaction on seeing the blind man is entirely human, they want to know who has sinned to make this man blind, the man or his parents? The human response of “how did this happen so I can prevent it happening to myself” is something we all do. This question however poses a problem because if it was the man he would have had to commit the crime in the womb and Jesus states that the man’s parents did not cause their son’s blindness by their sin but instead the man’s blindness provides a situation for Jesus to show God’s healing power. A power that we can all display by helping those we see in need and not ignoring the people who have faded into the background.

Jesus says that this man’s blindness is not caused by sin which shows the disciples and ourselves not to judge other people’s sins too quickly as we could be false and causing suffering to others. However, sin can and does cause suffering and as I have certainly experienced when I have sinned it has caused suffering to others and not just myself.

Another thing I noticed when reading this passage is that there is a clear distinction between good and evil. Good is where there is light and evil is where there is darkness. Jesus says “I am the light in the world.” Following in Jesus’ footsteps we continue to keep that light going in the world and not letting darkness take over.

Jesus gives this man the gift of sight, something he has never had. This man is now changed forever, he can see, he is no longer crouching along fumbling his way through life having to beg for money. He is full of life and excitement of what has happened to him and wants to tell everyone but as per usual somebody is usually there to put a dampener on that feeling and in this reading it is the Pharisees. The Pharisees are not happy that Jesus has performed a miracle on the sabbath and say that Jesus is not from God but others are confused because how can somebody not from God perform a miracle.

When the Pharisees question the blind man’s parents they acknowledge he was born blind but refuse to say how he gained his sight and left it to their son to answer because they were afraid of the consequences. I find this true in all of us sometimes, I know that sometimes we know we should say something about a situation but we fear the consequences and hope somebody else will say it instead. We don’t want to be ostracised or made fun of so we keep quiet.

Now the Pharisees are furious with what the man has told them and they throw him out. This poor man has gone from being blind all his life, to getting the gift of sight and wanting to shout it from the rooftops to being thrown out of his community. Everyone would have shunned him because the Pharisees were displeased with him, even his own parents have not stood up for him. But Jesus returns, he finds the man and opens the man’s spiritual eyes as well and the man worships Jesus and the full healing is complete. Jesus did not just heal the man physically but healed his faith as well, he gave this man a purpose and belief. After a lifetime of begging and darkness he now sees the light and begins his journey in the light of God.

The Pharisees are not blind in this because they refuse to see, they refuse to see and acknowledge Jesus as the son of God. If they were blind then they would not be sinning but because they see they sin because they choose to ignore. This is something I sadly relate to, don’t we all see the world suffering, see people suffering and choose to ignore it or pick and choose what we decide to help with.

After reading and pondering this reading I have decided to do more and not ignore so much in the world. I will think more about the climate and the effects my actions have on the world but I will also think and act more on how I can help people. I hope you have enjoyed my little reflection this Sunday. Thank you.

 

lady book dragon signature 250w