Matilda by Roald Dahl (Review)

Matilda by Roald Dahl

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About the author

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Roald Dahl was born on the 13th September 1916 and was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter and fighter pilot. He passed away on the 23rd November 1990.

Blurb

For hundreds of kids “The Trunchbull” is pure terror—for Matilda, she’s a sitting duck.

Who put superglue in Dad’s hat? Was it really a ghost that made Mom tear out of the house? Only sweet, gentle Matilda knows. Because she’s the one playing all the jokes! She’s a genius with idiot parents—and she’s having a great time driving them crazy. But at school things are different. At school there’s Miss Trunchbull, two hundred pounds of kid-hating bully. Pull a trick on “The Trunchbull” and she’ll string you up. Get rid of The Trunchbull and you’ll be a hero for every kid in Crunchem Hall. But that would take a superhuman genius. Or may a sweet, gentle—crafty—genius?

Review

This is another book off my summer reading challenge and a childhood favourite. I must admit it was nice to read a book I have not read since childhood. I still remember when my big sister bought me this book, most of my Roald Dahl books I got off PG Tips boxes but Matilda my sister bought from the local bookshop and I remember wanting to read it straight away. My copy is very well read and getting very fragile.

I love the story of Matilda, I always loved the fact that a small child could reek revenge on adults who think they know more than a child just because they are adults and quite frankly most of the time that adult is an idiot. I remember quite clearly as a child not being listened to or ignored because I was a child and I always swore that I would listen to children when they want to tell me something, and as a teacher I always try to do this and hey I have actually learned a lot.

Matilda is a very gifted young girl who is very different from her family and because of this her family especially her parents do not understand or appreciate her. Matilda soon realises life is unfair but to make it bearable she decides to get revenge in a way the adults would not work out it was her.

The main message of this story was to stand up to bullies and when you do you will realise they are cowards. This is a delightful story that I will always love and I highly recommend it to children and adults because it gives you a feel good feeling and makes you realise that against the odds you will triumph. I gave this book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase Links:

Waterstones

Book Depository

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Friday Poetry: Christina Rossetti

Hello everyone,

I do hope everyone has a very bookish weekend planned ahead.

This week I have chosen another poem by one of my favourites, Christina Rossetti. This poem is about spans of time and to be honest this week I have been thinking a lot about time, working out how long I have before I’m back teaching and also realising that in September I will have very little spare time. As per usual as I have taken on too much and need to sit down and think about how I am going to sort through everything and make it more manageable for myself.

 

How Many Seconds in a Minute?

 

How many seconds in a minute?

Sixty, and no more in it.

 

How many minutes in an hour?

Sixty for sun and shower.

 

How many hours in a day?

Twenty-four for work and play.

 

How many days in a week?

Seven both to hear and speak.

 

How many weeks in a month?

Four, as the swift moon runn’th.

 

How many months in a year?

Twelve the almanack makes clear.

 

How many years in an age?

One hundred says the sage.

 

How many ages in time?

No one knows the rhyme.

 

 

Christina Rossetti

 

Happy reading.

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My Cat is a Dick by Malcolm Katz (Review)

My Cat is a Dick by Malcolm Katz

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About the author

Malcolm Katz is a distinguished feline behaviourist and author. Some of his most famous work includes peeing in his owner’s school bag, bringing in a bat someone else had killed, and sniffing the eye of anyone who comes close enough.

Blurb

No matter how much of a cat lover you are, you have to admit those loving feelings can be pretty one-way. Cats are total dicks. And here is the photographic evidence.

Review

A few Christmases ago I bought this book for my husband and since then I had forgotten about it until friends who visited for a few days spotted it and commented about it, so then I decided to kill ten minutes and give it a read along with a cup of tea.

Now since living with two cats I have come to realise more and more that cats can be complete jerks! I must admit I am a dog person because a dog always shows love and affection and a cat just ignores your existence.

There is not much to read in this book as it is just photos of cats with a catchy caption to go with it. The pictures are very funny and have some very cute cats however in my opinion some of the captions do not quite fit and are not very amusing.

Some pictures and captions were a bit disappointing and the book could have done without them but overall it was a good book and filled a quick ten minutes. This book would be an excellent gift for cat and animal lovers, especially people who watch a lot of cat videos. I gave it 3 out 5 Dragons.

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Lyra thinks the book is great!

Purchase Links:

Waterstones

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Mid Week Quote: Sophocles

Greetings fellow readers.

Apologies I have been a bit quiet over the last few days, I have had friends visiting, so I have been having way too much fun visiting places, eating out, chatting and most importantly talking about books! I know I should have done some scheduled posts but I have fallen rather behind on that front. Hopefully I will catch up soon.

My chosen quote for today is by Ancient Greek tragedian Sophocles. Sophocles (c. 497/6-405/5 BC) wrote over 120 plays during his lifetime but sadly only 7 of these have survived. The quote below is from one of his plays that only fragments remain.

“Do nothing secretly; for Time sees and hears all things, and discloses all.”

 

Sophocles

 

Happy reading.

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Your Body’s Many Cries for Water by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj (Review)

Your Body’s Many Cries for Water: You’re Not Sick; You’re Thirsty: Don’t Treat Thirst with Medications by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj M.D

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About the author

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Fereydoon Batmanghelidj M.D was born in 1930 in Iran and was a trained doctor who practiced medicine in the United Kingdom before he returned to Iran. He wrote many books related to health and wellness.

Blurb

You are not sick, you are thirsty! Don’t treat thirst with medications! This is an absolute must-read classic book on natural health. This ground-breaking book is the first of Dr. B’s You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty series of books. It introduces a new paradigm for preventing and treating many degenerative diseases. A self-help book that reveals the new knowledge of the amazing health values of natural, simple water in maintaining personal health.

Review

I got this book because it was part of the recommended reading for the Diet and Nutrition Diploma I am working on and whilst dipping into it for certain references I thought I would read it all. I am so pleased I did because I loved it.

I’ve always known since school that drinking water is beneficial to the body but after starting this course and reading more about the need for drinking water I have realised that it is critical for our bodies and must admit when I drink plenty of water I do feel more energised and focused.

This book has many interesting theories about just what water can do for you. A lot of these benefits I have heard of but the others in this book are completely new to me. The ones that intrigued me the most were the claims that asthma and allergies could be cured by being properly hydrated. As an asthma sufferer I was interested and found the chapter very interesting although I’m not sure I will give up my inhalers just yet and try using water and salt to cure an asthma attack.

The book was full of interesting points about water helping people to lose weight, help with arthritis, improve the brain functions, stomach ulcers and much more. I also loved the letters that were included from people who had started drinking more water and certain problems they had been having had started to get better or disappear due to water.

The other point that I appreciated and agree with in certain aspects is that modern medicine is far too eager to prescribe drugs to solve all problems. This book looks at the possibility that if we drink more water and our bodies are properly hydrated we will not have so many problems so instead of taking drugs to solve our health issues we should try water. After all, water is cheapest of all beverages.

I do not often read factual books and very rarely cover to cover, but I loved this book and since reading have been striving to drink more water and less tea. The writing style was easy to read and not too highfalutin to understand when you do not have a medical background. I highly recommend this book to everyone who is interested in their health and wellbeing and I have given it the full 5 out of 5 Dragons.

Book Details

Page count: 196

Format: Paperback

Published: 2008

Purchase Links

Waterstones

Book Depository

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Mid Week Quote: Bill Watterson

Today’s quote is based on my love of tea and reading, because what is better than drinking a mug of tea whilst reading a good book?

The quote is by Bill Watterson and if you are regular reader of my blog you will realise I have used one of Watterson’s quote before.

Bill Watterson born July 5, 1958 is an American former cartoonist, he is best known for the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes.

 

“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.”

Bill Watterson

 

Happy Wednesday everyone and happy reading.

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Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge: Update

I thought it was high time for an update on the reading challenge, and all I can say is Oh dear!

I am very far behind and it is not because I haven’t been reading, it is because I have been distracted by other books! I must be more focused!

So here is the list with the books I have read crossed out, if you click on the crossed out book it will take you to the book review.

Good as gold:- The Casual Vacancy by J. K Rowling

The Book is Better:- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

On the bandwagon:- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood

Short and sweet:- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Actually want to read:- Jaws by Peter Benchley

Not from around here:- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

In a friend zone:- The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Wheel of format:- Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Past love:- Matilda by Roald Dahl

Armchair Traveler:- A Room with a View by E. M. Forster

 

As you can see only two down so far, I am currently trying to finish The Goldfinch.

Wish me luck! If anybody has any advice on how to complete a reading challenge and not get completely distracted by other books please feel free to drop me a comment.

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Captain Marvel: Higher, Further, Faster by Liza Palmer (Review)

Captain Marvel: Higher, Further, Faster by Liza Palmer

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About the author

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Liza Palmer is an internationally bestselling author of Conversations with a Fat Girl and six other novels. She is an Emmy-nominated and lives in Los Angeles.

Blurb

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FROM MARVEL STUDIOS!

Carol Danvers kicks off her U.S. Air Force career with her first year at flight school, where she’ll be tested in ways she never thought possible-and make a lifelong friend, Maria Rambeau, in the process-in this atmospheric and exciting prelude to the upcoming Marvel Studios’ film, Captain Marvel! Focusing on Carol Danvers and Maria Rambeau as they wend their way through a space that was still very much a “boys’ club” in the 80s, the important social-cultural themes explored in this novel are sure to draw in not only fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but readers of social issue-focused YA who gravitate toward relatable protagonists learning to navigate the world around them, and to succeed in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity.

Review

Who doesn’t love a free book? Yes, I got this book for free when I bought the Captain Marvel DVD from Sainsbury’s. I do love the Marvel films but I was not keen to see Captain Marvel, however when stuck on a plane for 8 hours and feeling at a loose end I decided to watch the film and to be honest rather enjoyed it, although it was probably because I rather liked the cat Goose.

Anyway, back to the book review. The book focuses on Carol Danvers who as we know becomes Captain Marvel and after a slow start I really began to enjoy this book. To start with I was not sure I would carry on reading the book as I found it rather slow and not my cup of tea but I’m so pleased I persevered as I really enjoyed it and because of reading it I appreciated the character of Carol Danvers in the film more.

The characters in the book were brilliant and I loved how the friendships developed especially between Carol and Maria. It really showed how a character can grow more as a person through friendship. The way Carol developed through the book, or grew up really linked in well with the film and you can see she has always thought that she has something to prove.

The other element I enjoyed was the fight Carol and Maria have in a male orientated world.  They have their dreams but know that in the U. S. Air Force men are the ones who get all the top flying jobs. However, in their own way and their constant pushing they make things work for them.

This was a really quick read and should have taken me no time at all to read but I was reading two other books at the same time so I was slightly distracted. It was an excellent YA book and deals with a lot of issues with growing up. I gave this book 4 out of 5 Dragons because the beginning was a bit slow.

Book Details

Page count: 249

Format: paperback

Published: 2019

Purchase Links

Waterstones

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The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (Review)

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

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About the author

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Henry James, born 15th April 1843, was an American-British author. He is best known for his novels dealing with social and marital interplay, in his later years his novels became more experimental. He passed away in February 1916.

Blurb

A very young woman’s first job: governess for two weirdly beautiful, strangely distant, oddly silent children, Miles and Flora, at a forlorn estate…An estate haunted by a beckoning evil.

Half-seen figures who glare from dark towers and dusty windows- silent, foul phantoms who, day by day, night by night, come closer, ever closer. With growing horror, the helpless governess realizes the fiendish creatures want the children, seeking to corrupt their bodies, possess their minds, own their souls…

But worse-much worse- the governess discovers that Miles and Flora have no terror of the lurking evil.

For they want the walking dead as badly as the dead want them.

Review

This was the last book I completed on holiday and to be honest it was a massive disappointment. I just could not get on with James’ writing style and found the whole story to be extremely boring.

The story centres around a young woman who is hired to be the governess of two young orphans. The uncle of these children does not want to know anything of their upbringing or of any problems, he wants to live his life to the full unhindered by these children. The governess goes off to a large country estate to look after these children and she immediately starts to hear and see strange things.

Now my first reaction was that this governess is very young for such responsibility and inexperienced. Her imagination could easily be running wild, and turning the sounds of an old house into something more. The housekeeper does not help instead of giving the girl a good shake she just blindly accepts what the governess is saying.

Then the two ghosts start to appear that only the governess has seen but she is convinced the children have seen them too but the children are not afraid of the ghosts.

At times I did wonder and still do whether all of this was in the governess’ head because it just was not a very convincing gothic horror story. It just felt forced and sloppily written, and there were certain things that got on my nerves, for instance why did she just ignore that the boy was expelled from boarding school, why did she not found out why he was expelled or find him another school? The only good point was the description and setting the scene of the gothic style manor house.

The final straw was the ending which just annoyed me no end and just confirmed to me that the book had been a massive waste of my time, I was just thankful it was rather short. I gave this book 1 out 5 Dragons.

Purchase Links

Waterstones

Book Depository

Details of book I read

Page count: 124

Format: Kindle

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Friday Poetry: John Rice

Yay! Has everyone got that Friday feeling?

I was flicking through some poetry and found this poem and loved the idea of fairies going to school. I’ve always imagined fairies happily playing games and dancing around but never going to school, but I suppose they must go to school, otherwise how do they learn all their fairy skills?

 

The Fairy School under the Loch

The wind sings its gusty song.

The bell rings its rusty ring.

The underwater fairy children

dive and swim through school gates.

They do not get wet.

 

The waves flick their flashing spray.

A school of fish wriggles its scaly way.

The underwater fairy children

learn their liquidy lessons.

Their reading books are always dry.

 

The seal straighten in a stretchy mass.

Teresa the Teacher flits and floats from class to class.

The underwater fairy children

count, play, sing and recite,

their clothes not in the least bit damp.

 

The rocks creak in their cracking skin.

A fairy boat drifts into a loch of time.

The underwater fairy children

lived, learned and left this life-

their salty stories now dry as their cracked wings.

 

John Rice

Happy Weekend Reading!

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