Mid Week Quote: Neil Gaiman

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I’m not getting much reading done at the moment which is shame but I’m hoping that will improve soon.

My chosen quote this week is about cats. When I saw it I thought it was perfect because I can’t get Lyra our calico to behave at all.

“I would like to see anyone, prophet, king or God, convince a thousand cats to do the same thing at the same time.” 

Neil Gaiman

Happy Reading

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Goodreads Monday: 20/06/2022

Goodreads Monday is now hosted by Budget Tales Book Club.  All you have to do is show off a book from your TBR that you’re looking forward to reading.

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good start to the week. I have had a busy day of teaching music and running choir club. I have an unexpected day off tomorrow so I am hoping to enjoy a bit of reading time.

My chosen book this week is by an author who I haven’t read a lot of, so I am hoping to read more of their work.

A collection of three stories. The Stories take place in and around the fictional town of Milby in the English Midlands. Each of the Scenes concerns a different Anglican clergyman, but is not necessarily centred upon him. Eliot examines, among other things, the effects of religious reform and the tension between the Established and the Dissenting Churches on the clergymen and their congregations, and draws attention to various social issues, such as poverty, alcoholism, and domestic violence.

This is also my next read on my The Classics Club challenge so hopefully I will read it soon.

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.)

Please drop me a comment if you have taken part in 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 wonderful weekend.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

Four books now on the go and I am loving all of them. The Diary of a Bookseller is particularly amusing.

Happy Reading

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Reading Goals Check In

Hello!

I thought it was time to check how my reading goals for 2022 are going.

  • My first goal was to read 60 books this year. So far I have read 25 books out of the 60. This means I am slightly behind my target currently but I’m not too worried as I usually read more in the summer when I am not working as much and in December.
  • My second goal was to read more classics this year with the aim of reading 10. To help with this goal I joined The Classics Club challenge and set myself 50 classics to read in 5 years. Here is my list. So far I have read 3 classics and I am currently reading my 4th classic book which is also rather huge. If some of the next ones I read are on the smaller side I might be able to complete my aim of 10 books.
  • Third goal was to read more poetry. I set myself the task of reading A Poem for Every Night of the Year and A Poem for Every Day of the Year. The idea was to read two poems a day but to be honest I have fallen a little bit behind. I am still reading poetry at least once a week though which is way better than I have done in the past so I am definitely doing well on this goal.
  • My final goal was to finish three book series and start another one. The series to start is The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski. The three series to finish are:
    • The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan
    • The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey
    • Shardlake series by C. J. Sansom

I haven’t finished any series yet but I have moved forward with them all. I haven’t started The Witcher series though yet. To be honest I know I won’t finish The Wheel of Time series this year but I hope to make good progress with it. I do hope to finish The Expanse series and The Shardlake series though.

I’m not too worried that so far I am a little behind with my reading goals. My overall aim was to have a more relaxed reading experience this year and so far I think I am managing that and that is the main thing.

I hope everyone’s reading goals are going well so far this year.

Happy Reading

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Friday Poetry: Theodore Roethke

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has some good plans for the weekend.

My chosen poem this week is by the American poet Theodore Roethke (1908-1963).

Sloth

In moving slow he has no Peer.
You ask him something in his Ear,
He thinks about it for a Year;

And, then, before he says a Word 
There, upside down (unlike a Bird),
He will assume that you have Heard

A most Ex-as-per-at-ing Lug.
But should you call his manner Smug,
He'll sigh and give his Branch a Hug;

Then off again to Sleep he goes,
Still swaying gently by his Toes,
And you just know he knows he knows.

Theodore Roethke

Happy Reading

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This and That Thursday

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I started yet another book today. I now have four books on the go which is feeling very odd and I definitely prefer reading one book at a time but I just can’t seem to settle at the moment.

I have been having some adventures outside of books though, so here they are.

Lord of the Rings Conqueror Challenge

We are still walking and trying to complete our Lord of the Rings Challenge. We are still on the first medal (there are 5) but we have now reached the 40% mark of that medal. Who knew it would take so long to get to Bree!

RAF Museum Cosford

I had an unexpected free Monday a couple of weeks ago so we decided to go to and see some antique planes. I always love visiting but I always feel a little sad at seeing all these beautiful planes which will never fly again. This is one of my favourite planes.

Afternoon Tea

It was my Mom’s birthday last week so we took my parents out to an amazing afternoon tea at Stanbrook Abbey. The food and service was absolutely brilliant and the venue itself was incredible. Definitely worth a wander around.

Attingham Park

Today we took advantage of the beautiful weather and went on a National Trust outing. Sadly, we were not able to go around the house but were allowed to go for a wander around the basement. Thankfully, the grounds at Attingham are beautiful so we did lots of walking and investigating. There was also a huge second hand book shop where we found a holiday guide for our next holiday.

So there are my recent adventures, making the most of days off.

Happy Adventuring.

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Mid Week Quote: Jack Nicholson

Hello!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

My chosen quote this week is by the retired American actor and director Jack Nicholson (1937).

“The minute that you’re not learning I believe you’re dead.”

Jack Nicholson

Happy Reading

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WWW Wednesday: 15/06/2022

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 really enjoying this gorgeous weather we are currently having but sadly I have not managed as much reading as I would like.

What I am Currently Reading

I can’t seem to settle with my reading at the moment and have started yet another book. Three books at once is very unusual for me, as I usually prefer to read one book at time but to be honest I am so tired at night that I keep falling asleep whilst reading Dombey and Son, and so I have chosen a lighter book to read, which is The Diary of a Bookseller. The Greek Myths book was because I was missing a nonfiction read. I quite like reading nonfiction in the morning for some reason.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

Sadly, no books finished this week. Instead I just keep starting more!

What I Think I will Read Next

I am hopefully going on holiday soon so I will need to choose some suitable reading material but not sure yet. But I will not be starting any new books till I have finished one of my current reads.

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

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Professor Mary Beard (Review)

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Professor Mary Beard

Blurb

By 63 BCE the city of Rome was a sprawling, imperial metropolis of more than a million inhabitants. But how did this massive city—the seat of power for an empire that spanned from Spain to Syria—emerge from what was once an insignificant village in central Italy? 

In S.P.Q.R., Beard changes our historical perspective, exploring how the Romans themselves challenged the idea of imperial rule, how they responded to terrorism and revolution, and how they invented a new idea of citizenship and nation, while also keeping her eye open for those overlooked in traditional histories: women, slaves and ex-slaves, conspirators, and losers. 

Like the best detectives, Beard separates fact from fiction, myth and propaganda from historical record. She introduces the familiar characters of Julius Caesar, Cicero, and Nero as well as the untold, the loud women, the shrewd bakers, and the brave 

jokers. 

S.P.Q.R. promises to shape our view of Roman history for decades to come. 

100 illustrations; 16 pages of colour; 5 maps

Review

I will be honest I did not read this very quickly but I still absolutely loved it. I love how Beard explains things and could easily read her books all the time. I don’t find her writing too in depth or complicated to read but find it informative, interesting and rather funny at times. 

Beard’s focus in this book is how Rome grew not how Rome fell. The book begins at around 63BCE with Cicero uncovering the plot of Catiline. By uncovering this plot by Catiline, Cicero basically saves the state. Although Beard is explaining about the beginnings of Rome she starts in 63BCE because there are more historical records that exist from that period. The Romans very kindly left us a lot of written material.

I found this book a refreshing take on the Roman history because it focuses on Rome’s advancement, how it grew and developed rather than its decline which a lot of books focus on. Beard talks about consuls, senators, generals, emperors and even the middle classes, the poor and slaves. Having studied Classics I know that there is very little written about the lower classes in Rome or in fact women because the people who were writing in Ancient Rome were mainly rich men and that is what they focused on in their writing, they didn’t really bother with the lower classes or women. The fact that Beard has bothered to include the lower classes and women in her book is brilliant and very enjoyable to read about. 

The maps and illustrations both colour and black and white work brilliantly within the book and I found them very helpful with the text. I found the maps particularly useful and the colour illustrations very beautiful. 

I know that some people take issue with this book and I know it is nowhere near a definitive history of Ancient Rome but I found it a highly enjoyable read and not a stale read like some books I have read on Ancient Rome or Greece. I give this book 5 out of 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

Mary Beard is a Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of Newman College and Classics editor of the TLS. She has world-wide academic acclaim, and is a fellow of the British Academy and a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

The Classics Club: Spin #30 – Results

Hello!

So the results of the latest spin are in and the number is 5. For my list for Spin #30 the post is here. Number 5 on my list is Scenes of Clerical Life by George Eliot.

A collection of three stories. The Stories take place in and around the fictional town of Milby in the English Midlands. Each of the Scenes concerns a different Anglican clergyman, but is not necessarily centred upon him. Eliot examines, among other things, the effects of religious reform and the tension between the Established and the Dissenting Churches on the clergymen and their congregations, and draws attention to various social issues, such as poverty, alcoholism, and domestic violence.

I haven’t read much George Eliot so I am looking forward to reading this book. Hopefully I can finish it by August 7th.

Now I have started reading classics again my TBR pile is growing as there are so many I want to read.

Please drop me a comment if you are doing the Classics Club challenge or if you have taken part in the Spin Challenge.

Happy Reading

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