Friday Poetry: Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Hello!

Happy Friday! It is time for some poetry.

On this day in 1913, Emily Davison threw herself under the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby. Sadly, she died from her injuries four days later. Davison was a key part of the suffragette movement. The vote was given to women who met certain qualifications in 1918, women were given full voting rights in 1928.

Coming

Because the time is ripe, the age is ready,
Because the world her woman's help demands,
Out of the long subjection and seclusion
Come to our field of warfare and confusion
The mother's heart and hands.

Long has she stood aside, endured and waited,
While man swung forward, toiling on alone;
Now, for the weary man, so long ill-mated,
Now, for the world for which she was created,
Comes woman to her own.

Not for herself! though sweet the air of freedom;
Not for herself, though dear the new-born power;
But for the child, who needs a nobler mother,
For the whole people, needing one another,
Comes woman to her hour. 

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Happy Reading

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Acquired Books of May 2021

Hello my fellow Book Dragons!

I have decided at the end of each month I am going to put all the books I have acquired during that month into one post. This way it might help me to not buy the same books again, which I have been known to do. People who know me might try and use these posts to prove a point they have been trying to make for some years, in response I fiercely deny having a book buying problem!

So here are all the wonderful books I have acquired in May.

A seriously entertaining collection of feel good stories guaranteed to put the smile back on your face written especially by ten bestselling novelists:

Jenny Éclair

Mark Watson

Veronica Henry

Eva Verde

Richard Madeley

Katie Fforde

Dorothy Koomson

Vaseem Khan

Helen Lederer

Rachel Hore

From a hilarious race against time to a moment of unexpected eavesdropping, from righting wrongs in rural India to finding joy in unlikely places, these stories are all rich in wit and humour, guaranteed to lift your spirits and warm your heart.

Stories to Make you Smile is a co-commission between The Reading Agency and Specsavers as part of World Book Night 2021.

Review

Two husbands dead; a life marred by sadness. And now Katharine is in love for the first time in her life.

The eye of an ageing and dangerous king falls upon her. She cannot refuse him. She must stifle her feelings and never betray that she wanted another.

And now she is the sixth wife. Her queenship is a holy mission yet, fearfully, she dreams of the tragic parade of women who went before her. She cherishes the secret beliefs that could send her to the fire. And still the King loves and trusts her. 

Now her enemies are closing in. She must fight for her very life.

KATHARINE PARR – the last of Henry’s queens. 

Alison Weir recounts the extraordinary story of a woman forced into a perilous situation and rising heroically to the challenge. Katharine is a delightful woman, a warm and kindly heroine – and yet she will be betrayed by those she loves and trusts most. 

Too late, the truth will dawn on her. 

Review

SAVE THE WORLD OR END IT…

A strange darkness is growing in the Ward. Even Corayne an-Amarat can feel it, tucked away in her small town at the edge of the sea.

Fate knocks on her door, in the form of a mythical immortal and a lethal assassin, who tell Corayne that she is the last of an ancient lineage – with the power to save the world from destruction.

Because a man who would burn kingdoms to the ground is raising an army unlike any seen before, bent on uprooting the foundations of the world. With poison in his heart and a stolen sword in his hand, he’ll break the realm itself to claim it. And only Corayne can stop him.

Alongside an unlikely group of reluctant allies, Corayne finds herself on a desperate journey to complete an impossible task, with untold magic singing in her blood and the fate of the world on her shoulders.

A lone astronaut.

An impossible mission.

An ally he never imagined.

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission – and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery-and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.

Or does he?

An irresistible interstellar adventure as only Andy Weir could imagine it, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian — while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.

Autumn, 1541: King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to attend an extravagant submission of his rebellious subjects in York.

Already in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak. As well as assisting with legal work processing petitions to the King, Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a special mission for the Archbishop Cranmer – to ensure the welfare of an important but dangerous conspirator being returned to London for interrogation.

But the murder of a local glazier involves Shardlake in deeper mysteries, connected not only to the prisoner in York Castle but to the royal family itself. And when Shardlake and Barak stumble upon a cache of secret papers which could threaten the Tudor throne, a chain of events unfolds that will lead to Shardlake facing the most terrifying fate of the age . . .

In Simenon’s iconic first novel featuring Inspector Maigret, the laconic detective is taken from grimy bars to luxury hotels as he traces a fraudster’s true identity

Inspector Jules Maigret, a taciturn detective and commissaire of the Paris Brigade Criminelle, receives notice from Interpol that a notorious conman known only as Peitr the Latvian is en route to France. Armed with a broad description and a scant few clues, Maigret plans to intercept him at the train station outside Paris. But when he arrives, he finds that there are several suspects?some living, and some dead?who meet the description uncannily well.

Who is Pietr the Latvian, truly? A vagrant, a seaman, a businessman, a corpse? Russian, Norwegian, American or Latvian?  In Pietr the Latvian, the iconic first novel of Simenon’s classic series that made Inspector Maigret a legendary figure in the annals of detective fiction, Maigret must use his every instinct to unravel the mystery and track down the truth.

Review

The circumstances of Monsieur Gallet’s death all ring false: the name the deceased was travelling under and his presumed profession, and more worryingly, his family’s grief. Their haughtiness seems to hide ambiguous feelings about the hapless man. In this haunting story, Maigret discovers the appalling truth and the real crime hidden behind the surface of lies.

Inspector Maigret finds himself tangled up in a dreadful death, in Georges Simenon’s haunting tale about the lengths to which people will go to escape from guilt

While in Brussels on police business, Inspector Jules Maigret witnesses a strange act: a scruffy-looking man counts out a large amount of currency and mails it to a Paris address. His instincts tell him there is more to this moment than meets the eye, and following an impulse, Maigret boards the man’s train, following him to Germany via Amsterdam. But in the course of his investigation, something goes horribly awry, and the man ends up dead.

Maigret is devastated by the inadvertent role he played, but his own remorse is overshadowed by the discovery of the sordid events that drove the desperate man to the edge. In The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien, Georges Simenon examines the terrible weight guilt can place on a man’s conscience and the tragedies that can result when that weight gets to be too heavy to bear.

Addie and her sister are about to embark on an epic road trip to a friend’s wedding in rural Scotland. The playlist is all planned and the snacks are packed.

But, not long after setting off, a car slams into the back of theirs. The driver is none other than Addie’s ex, Dylan, who she’s avoided since their traumatic break-up two years earlier.

Dylan and his best mate are heading to the wedding too, and they’ve totalled their car, so Addie has no choice but to offer them a ride. The car is soon jam-packed full of luggage and secrets, and with four-hundred miles ahead of them, Dylan and Addie can’t avoid confronting the very messy history of their relationship…

Will they make it to the wedding on time? And, more importantly, is this really the end of the road for Addie and Dylan?

Troy has fallen. The Greeks have won their bitter war. They can return home as victors, loaded with their spoils: their stolen gold, stolen weapons, stolen women. All they need is a good wind to lift their sails.

But the wind does not come. The gods have been offended – the body of Trojan king Priam lies desecrated, unburied – and so the victors remain in limbo, camped in the shadow of the city they destroyed, pacing at the edge of an unobliging sea. And, in these empty, restless days, the hierarchies that held them together begin to fray, old feuds resurface and new suspicions fester.

Amidst her squabbling captors, Briseis — now married to Alcimus, but carrying the child of the late Achilles — must forge alliances where she can: with young, dangerously naive Amina, with defiant, aged Hecuba, and with wild-eyed Cassandra, the unheeded seer. And so begins the path to a kind of revenge. Briseis has survived the Trojan War, but peacetime may turn out to be even more dangerous…

Review

As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur – Minos’s greatest shame and Ariadne’s brother – demands blood every year. 

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods – drawing their attention can cost you everything. 

In a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men, will Ariadne’s decision to betray Crete for Theseus ensure her happy ending? Or will she find herself sacrificed for her lover’s ambition?

Review

A delightful journey through the glamorous story of the English country house party by the bestselling historian.

Croquet. Parlour games. Cocktails. Welcome to a glorious journey through the golden age of the country house party and you are invited.Our host, celebrated historian Adrian Tinniswood, traces the evolution of this quintessentially British pastime from debauched royal tours to the flamboyant excess of the “Bright Young Things”. With cameos by the Jazz Age industrialist, the bibulous earl and the off-duty politician ? whether in moated manor houses or ornate Palladian villas ? Tinniswood gives a vivid insight into weekending etiquette and reveals the hidden lives of celebrity guests, from Nancy Astor to Winston Churchill, in all their drinking, feasting, gambling and fornicating. The result is a deliciously entertaining, star-studded, yet surprisingly moving portrait of a time when social conventions were being radically overhauled through the escapism of a generation haunted by war ? and a uniquely fast-living period of English history.

An abandoned woman…

1951. Esther Durrant, a young mother, is committed to an asylum by her husband. Run by a pioneering psychiatrist, the hospital is at first Esther’s prison – but can captivity lead to freedom?

A forbidden love…

2018. When free-spirited marine scientist Rachel Parker is forced to take shelter on an isolated island off the Cornish Coast during a research posting, she discovers a collection of hidden love letters. Captivated by their passion and tenderness, Rachel is determined to find the intended recipient. 

A dangerous secret…

Meanwhile, in London, Eve is helping her grandmother write her memoirs. When she is contacted by Rachel, it sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to reveal secrets kept buried for more than sixty years. 

Three women bound together by a heartbreaking secret. 

A love story that needs to be told.

This beautifully haunting and atmospheric novel, will sweep fans of Kate Morton, Elizabeth Gilbert and Emily Gunnis away this summer.

Thirteen books in total. This includes my book from my monthly Willoughby Book subscription and a NetGalley read. I’m actually quite pleased that I have also read some of these books as well because I do have the habit of buying the books then leaving them for months before I read them.

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

Happy Reading

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

Mid Week Quote: Johannes Brahms

Hello!

This weeks quote is by the German composer, pianist and conductor of the Romantic period, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897). I absolutely love playing Brahms’ clarinet sonatas, I just wish I could play them better!

“Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind.”

Johannes Brahms

Happy Reading

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WWW Wednesday 2/06/2021

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 must admit I am throughly enjoying the wonderful weather we have at the moment.

What I am Currently Reading

I am throughly enjoying this so far and I am struggling to put it down. This is the first time I have read anything by Victoria Aveyard but it will not be my last.

What I Have Recently Finished Reading

Absolutely loved this and I am rather sorry that the Six Tudor Queens series has now come to end. Click the picture for the review.

What I Think I will Read Next

As usual I am never quite sure what I will read next. All I know for sure is that I have a lot of exciting books that I want to read and not enough time!

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

May 2021 Wrap Up

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good May. I can’t quite believe we are now in June! The months seem to be flying by. I managed to read 6 books this month and some of them were quite long so I’m rather pleased.

Statistics

Books

Pages: 400

Format Read: Hardback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 304

Format Read: Kindle

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 176

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 480

Format Read: Hardback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 528

Format Read: Hardback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 143

Format Read: Kindle

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲

Review

25/70 Goodreads Challenge

So there is my May. Please feel free to drop me a comment if you want to chat about the books.

Happy Reading

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

Stories To Make You Smile edited by Fanny Blake (Review)

Stories To Make You Smile edited by Fanny Blake

Blurb

A seriously entertaining collection of feel good stories guaranteed to put the smile back on your face written especially by ten bestselling novelists:

Jenny Éclair

Mark Watson

Veronica Henry

Eva Verde

Richard Madeley

Katie Fforde

Dorothy Koomson

Vaseem Khan

Helen Lederer

Rachel Hore

From a hilarious race against time to a moment of unexpected eavesdropping, from righting wrongs in rural India to finding joy in unlikely places, these stories are all rich in wit and humour, guaranteed to lift your spirits and warm your heart.

Stories to Make you Smile is a co-commission between The Reading Agency and Specsavers as part of World Book Night 2021.

Review

I noticed this book appearing on my bookstagram a great deal this month so I thought I would give it a go. The plus side is that it is free on kindle and I can never refuse a free book. 

This book did not take me long to read, I read the first three stories whilst having a nice cup of tea and finished the rest of the book today during the nice sunny bank holiday weather. The book could easily be read in one sitting though and each story takes less than ten minutes to read. 

I love the idea of this book and was excited to read it but I will be honest that I was rather underwhelmed with some of stories and actually had to reread two to remind myself what they were about. My favourite story is probably the first one Behind My Fat Back by Jenny Ecalir, I just really wanted to tell the main character ‘good on you!’. 

Job Opportunity by Richard Madeley I found rather funny and it made me have a little laugh and it was made even better to find out it was a true story. Some of the stories like The Wrong Cake and Schooled I just found a little ridiculous. 

All in all it was a good read that filled a gap whilst having a nice cup of tea and a biscuit. A quick read at only 143 pages long but rather underwhelming that I give 3 out of 5 Dragons. 

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The Weekly Brief

Happy Bank Holiday Weekend!

I hope everyone is having a good weekend so far!

Here is what has been happening on the blog this week.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

Books Acquired

So there is my week. A little bit better on the blogging front this week.

Happy Reading.

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

Katharine Parr: The Sixth Wife by Alison Weir (Review)

Katharine Parr: The Sixth Wife by Alison Weir

Blurb

Two husbands dead; a life marred by sadness. And now Katharine is in love for the first time in her life.

The eye of an ageing and dangerous king falls upon her. She cannot refuse him. She must stifle her feelings and never betray that she wanted another.

And now she is the sixth wife. Her queenship is a holy mission yet, fearfully, she dreams of the tragic parade of women who went before her. She cherishes the secret beliefs that could send her to the fire. And still the King loves and trusts her. 

Now her enemies are closing in. She must fight for her very life.

KATHARINE PARR – the last of Henry’s queens. 

Alison Weir recounts the extraordinary story of a woman forced into a perilous situation and rising heroically to the challenge. Katharine is a delightful woman, a warm and kindly heroine – and yet she will be betrayed by those she loves and trusts most. 

Too late, the truth will dawn on her. 

Review

Katharine Parr is the one wife of Henry VIII that I have never really known much about and to be honest that is due to my own fault as I have never found her as interesting as the other wives. I now realise that I was very wrong about Katharine Parr, she was indeed a very interesting character. 

Katharine Parr had a life marred by sadness, she lost her father at an early age but had a happy childhood due to her aunt and uncle and her very forward thinking mother who believed women should have the same education as men. However, she had to leave the happy home to get married to her first husband and although her husband was friendly things were not as they seemed. Sadly, Katharine is widowed early but she soon finds happiness with her second husband and finds the love of a loving step daughter. Katharine’s life is happy but she is frustrated with the fact she has to keep her true beliefs hidden from the public eye. 

Sadly, Katharine is widowed again but happiness in the form of Tom Seymour presents itself but at the same time King Henry also wants her hand and because Katharine believes she can do some good she accepts and puts her own happiness on hold. I do believe though that the thought of being queen is also a big draw to marrying the king as in the book Katharine really does love her pretty gowns, jewellery and her major passion which is shoes. 

Katharine is a kind woman who wants to help her step children in any way she can and is an advocate for religion and education. The one problem I had with her was how heartless she could be and it was obvious she was not a mother herself. The things she said to people who had lost children were terrible and although she thought what she said was a help it really wasn’t. I also found her rather naive when it came to Tom Seymour. For such a strong woman it would appear she was easily deceived when it came to her fourth husband. 

This was an excellent read that I thoroughly enjoyed it and loved learning more about Katharine as a woman. She was strong willed and forward thinking for the time and because she had power she was able to get away with her beliefs. This is an excellent series of books and this was an excellent ending. The series teaches us about the queens of Henry VIII but not just their time as queen but their whole lives and that is the beauty of these books. I give this book 5 out 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

Alison Weir was born in 1951 and is a British writer of history books, and latterly historical novels, mostly in the form of biographies about British Royalty.

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

First Lines Friday: 28/05/2021

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!

Hello!

I haven’t done one of these for ages so I thought it was high time I took part again.

So here are the opening lines of the book. Remember the answer is below the cats.

No mortal alive had ever seen a Spindle.

Echoes of them lingered, in places remembered or forgotten, in people touched by magic, in creatures descendant of other realms. But no Spindle had burned in an age. The last of them was a thousand years gone. The passages closed, the gates locked. The age of crossing ended.

Get guessing!

Have you guessed the answer?

And the answer is???

A strange darkness grows in Allward.

Even Corayne an-Amarat can feel it, tucked away in her small town at the edge of the sea.

She soon discovers the truth: She is the last of an ancient lineage—and the last hope to save the world from destruction. But she won’t be alone. Even as darkness falls, she is joined by a band of unlikely companions:

A squire, forced to choose between home and honor.
An immortal, avenging a broken promise.
An assassin, exiled and bloodthirsty.
An ancient sorceress, whose riddles hide an eerie foresight.
A forger with a secret past.
A bounty hunter with a score to settle.

Together they stand against a vicious opponent, invincible and determined to burn all kingdoms to ash, and an army unlike anything the realm has ever witnessed.

Please drop me a comment with your First Lines Friday and 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

Friday Poetry: Maya Angelou

Happy Friday!

I hope you all have some exciting plans for the long weekend ahead. I’m hoping to get some reading done but I also have a lot of studying to do as well.

My chosen poem today is by Maya Angelou (1928-2014) who was an American poet, memorise and civil rights activist.

Life Doesn't Frighten Me

Shadows on the wall
Noises down the hall
Life doesn't frighten me at all
Bad dogs barking loud
Big ghosts in a cloud
Life doesn't frighten me at all. 

Mean old Mother Goose
Lions on the loose
They don't frighten me at all
Dragons breathing flame
On my counterpane
That doesn't frighten me at all.

I go boo
Make them shoo
I make fun
Way they run
I won't cry 
So they fly
I just smile
They go wild
Life doesn't frighten me at all.

Tough guys fight
All alone at night
Life doesn't frighten me at all
Panthers in the park
Strangers in the dark
No, they don't frighten me at all.

That new classroom where
Boys all pull my hair
(Kissy little girls
With their hair in curls)
They don't frighten me at all.

Don't show me frogs and snakes
And listen for my scream,
If I'm afraid at all
It's only in my dreams.

I've got a magic charm 
That I keep up my sleeve,
I can walk the ocean floor
And never have to breathe.

Life doesn't frighten me at all
Not at all
Not at all.
Life doesn't frighten me at all.

Maya Angelou

I know the picture isn’t a Mother Goose on her nest but it is a swan I saw on the nest yesterday.

Happy Friday!

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