Mid Week Quote: Victor Hugo

Happy Wednesday!

This week I have gone for a quote by Victor Hugo. Hugo (1802-1885) was a French poet, novelist and dramatist of the Romantic movement.

Life is a flower of which love is the honey.

Victor Hugo

Happy Reading

WWW Wednesday: 25/11/2020

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?

Happy Wednesday!

I have a surprisingly busy day teaching today and it is two of my students last lessons before their exams. I think I am more nervous than they are with all the extra Covid 19 precautions that have to be in place for exams and as I am not allowed to be there on the day I just hope I don’t forgot to tell them anything.

Anyway, here is what my week in books has looked like.

What I am Currently Reading

I am about a third of the way in and thoroughly enjoying it so far.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

Not what I was expecting to be honest. The review is here.

What I think I will Read Next

Yes, it is all Christmas reading now. The only problem is I keep finding more Christmas books I want to add to the list.

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

A Midwinter Promise by Lulu Taylor (Review)

A Midwinter Promise by Lulu Taylor

Blurb

The past

A lonely and imaginative child, Julia loves her family’s beautiful and wild Cornish home with all her heart. But, marked by dark troubles, she enters her adult years determined to leave and seek a new beginning in London. It’s there she meets the handsome David. They fall in love, but when Julia becomes pregnant, even he can’t stop the terrible echoes of the past from ringing in her ears. The only sound to be heard above the noise is the old Cornish house, calling her home . . .

The present

For Julia’s adult children, Alex and Johnnie, the house hides the history of their family within its walls. For Alex, it is full of memories of her late mother. For Johnnie, it is the house that should have been rightfully theirs after Julia died but has been stolen from them instead. With their father now lying in a hospital bed, time is running out for Alex and Johnnie to uncover the secrets of what happened to their mother all those years ago. Can they discover the truth before the house closes its doors to them forever?

Review

I have read some of Taylor’s books before and I have really enjoyed them so I was excited to get reading this. 

There are two storylines within this book, the past and present, and I will admit I struggled at times when reading the past. The past follows the life of Julia and rather cleverly her life  is running parallel with Princess Diana’s who also features in the book because Julia’s husband David works in the palace for Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

I will be honest this book made me angry because Julia really needed help. She was let down by doctors and those closest to her and that made me really angry and upset but I realise that is what Taylor was aiming for and Taylor had obviously done a significant amount of research into Julia’s condition which the reader only really finds out about at the end of the book.

Alex and Johnnie, Julia’s children are now grown and have children of their own and problems of their own. Johnnie got on my nerves slightly because I found him rather selfish and unfair to his wife. Alex was my favourite character, she was full of feeling and worked hard with her business and was just a lovely character to follow.

Mundo was my least favourite, he was definitely wrong and rather unbelievable to be honest. Sally was a character who my opinion changed on, on more than one occasion but I won’t say more. 

I was a little disappointed about the detail in the book as I would have liked a bit more description regarding Tawray the house as usually Taylor is bang on with her descriptions. Overall, I enjoyed the book but I did struggle with it at times and it left me feeling rather sad. I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | 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

Lulu was brought up in the Oxfordshire countryside, attended a girls’ school and then went to Oxford University, where she read English Literature. After university, she worked in publishing for several years, before becoming a novelist.

The Weekly Brief

Happy Sunday!

Another busy week in the blogging world. I have also set up an instagram account for the blog you can find it at theladybookdragon if you want to follow.

So here is what I have been up to in the blogging world.

Posts this Week

Books I am Currently Reading

Books Acquired this Week

Happy Reading!

Ickabog by J. K. Rowling (Review)

Ickabog by J. K. Rowling

Blurb

Once upon a time there was a tiny kingdom called Cornucopia, as rich in happiness as it was in gold, and famous for its food. From the delicate cream cheeses of Kurdsburg to the Hopes-of-Heaven pastries of Chouxville, each was so delicious that people wept with joy as they ate them.

But even in this happy kingdom, a monster lurks. Legend tells of a fearsome creature living far to the north in the Marshlands… the Ickabog. Some say it breathes fire, spits poison, and roars through the mist as it carries off wayward sheep and children alike. Some say it’s just a myth…

And when that myth takes on a life of its own, casting a shadow over the kingdom, two children — best friends Bert and Daisy — embark on a great adventure to untangle the truth and find out where the real monster lies, bringing hope and happiness to Cornucopia once more.

Review

I was so excited to get this book in my post box as I have had it preordered for ages. I love the idea of this book. The fact it has illustrations done by children from all over the world is lovely and I was so happy to see that this story is one that Rowling told her daughters when they were young and then her daughters helped her write it up, together as a family.

This is a typical fairytale and thankfully it wasn’t like a Disney fairytale. A Disney fairytale is all polish and shine but a true fairytale has gore and murder and this fairytale had all of that. I was so pleased Rowling trusted children to be brave enough to read such a fairytale, not quite a Grimm fairytale but definitely not a Disney.

King Fred the Fearless made me laugh a great deal but I also felt very sorry for him as he was played by those close to him. Also King Fred’s fashion sense was rather amusing. Bert and Daisy are lovely children especially Daisy who was a particular favourite of mine. She is an intelligent child who doesn’t let prejudices get in her way. She judges people for herself and gives everyone a chance.

The one issue I had with this book and it isn’t a bad one but I did find myself craving yummy food especially pastries when reading this book. This was most likely due to the wonderful food described in the book. 

This is a wonderful story and very amusing in places. A really good story that is a good read for both children and adults plus the illustrations are brilliant and really add to the story. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | 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

Joanne Rowling born 31 July 1965, is a British writer and philanthropist. She is best known for writing the Harry Potter series. Rowling also writes crime fiction under the pen name Robert Galbraith.

Friday Poetry: Christina Rossetti

Happy Friday!

Today is a chill day for me as I have handed in my two assignments so it is time for a little break before I start again on Saturday.

So here is my chosen poem for this week.

A Wintry Sonnet

A Robin said: The Spring will never come,
And I shall never care to build again.
A Rosebush said: These frosts are wearisome,
My sap will never stir for sun or rain.
The half Moon said: These nights are fogged and slow,
I neither care to wax nor care to wane.
The Ocean said: I thirst from long ago,
Because earth's rivers cannot fill the main.-
When Springtime came, red Robin built a nest,
And trilled a lover's song in sheer delight.
Grey hoarfrost vanished, and the Rose with might
Clothed her in leaves and buds of crimson core.
The dim Moon brightened. Ocean sunned his crest,
Dimpled his blue, yet thirsted evermore.

Christina Rossetti

Happy Reading!

Christmas Reading List 2020

Hello!

So today we ordered our Christmas tree, we usually have a real Christmas tree but this year due to my husband and myself both actually been allergic to Christmas trees we have gone for an artificial one. I can’t wait for it to arrive!

We also watched the Christmas light switch on of our town online and drank mulled wine today, so I thought it is high time I got my Christmas reading list sorted. I usually get my Christmas books from Waterstones when we go to our annual Birmingham German Market trip but that is cancelled this year so I have had to do my Christmas book shopping online which is really not the same.

Anyway, in no particular order here is my list.

Ten books in total and knowing me I might add more. I know I won’t get around to reading them all but I do like having a variety to choose from. I’m particularly looking forward to my new version of The Nutcracker as I read a new version every year. I have had a sneaky look at the illustrations already and it does look very pretty.

Please let me know your thoughts if you have read any of these Christmas books and please feel free to recommend some more Christmas reads to me. The more the merrier!

Happy Reading!

WWW Wednesday: 18/11/2020

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?

Happy Wednesday!

So here is how my reading is going.

What I am Currently Reading

Have literally just started this! So far so good.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

Some absolutely brilliant books here!

What I will Read Next

Yes, the Christmas books are out! I just couldn’t wait any longer.

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

Top 5 Tuesday: Books I’m Glad I Read

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

Hello!

It has been a few weeks since I have taken part in Top 5 Tuesday, but this week I really liked the topic, so thought I would take part.

Here are my 5 books that I am really pleased to have read this year. Click the pictures for the review.

The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva

This is a type of book I would never have usually considered reading but I am so pleased I did because it was brilliantly written and a big eye opener.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

This was a beautiful retelling of The Iliad and a really refreshing approach.

Half a World Away by Mike Gayle

I discovered Mike Gayle over lockdown and really loved this book, it was beautifully written but I warn you if you read it have a box of tissues at the ready.

Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and David Litchfield

Another lockdown gem that I got for free on my ipad but have since bought the hardback version as it is so beautiful.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Another new author for me this year and it was quite simply a laugh a minute.

So there is my list. Please drop me a link with your Top 5 Tuesday and I will head over for a visit.