5,4,3,2,1 Book Tag

Hello!

I’ve been seeing this book tag a great deal on instagram but I thought it looked fun to do on my blog as well. If you like the post consider yourself tagged!

5 Books You Love

These are just a selection of my favourite reads and they are books that I will happily read again and again.

4 Autobuy Authors

Andy Weir – After reading The Martian I knew that I would buy any book that Weir published and so as soon as I hear a book is coming out I get it preordered.

Elly Griffiths – I adore the Dr Ruth Galloway series by Griffiths and it was through this series that I first came across Griffiths. This has meant for the last 3 years I have bought any new books and past books by Griffiths.

Philippa Gregory – I have loved reading books by Gregory since I was a teenager and she has been an autobuy author since then. It doesn’t mean I have read all of her books yet but I am working on it.

Alison Weir – I had read a few books by Weir but then I read her Six Tudor Queens series and I just fell in love with her writing and ever since I have been buying all her newly published books and working my way through her back catalogue.

3 Favourite Genres

Fantasy – My love of fantasy started when I read The Lord of the Rings as a teenager, ever since it has been one of my favourite genres that I always go back to.

Historical Fiction – I love historical fiction and I will read about any time period. My love first started with historical fiction set in the Tudor period but now I will happily read any time period.

Classical literature – The first books I ever really read were classics and this has always been my first love.

2 Places You Read

Bed – I always read before I go to sleep as it helps calm me.

Sofa – I always like to start my day with a bit of reading whilst drinking my first mug of tea of the day and this always happens on the sofa in the lounge. Sometimes I have a cat companion as well which is nice.

1 Book You Promise to Read Soon

This will be my next classic read for this year so I hope to start reading it soon.

Happy Reading

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Friday Poetry: John Updike

Happy Friday!

My chosen poem this week is by another new poet for me. John Updike (1932-2009) was an American novelist, poet, short story writer, art and literary critic.

August

The sprinkler twirls.
The summer wanes.
The pavement wears
Popsicle stains. 

The playground grass
Is worn to dust. 
The weary swings
Creak, creak with rust.

The trees are bored
With being green.
Some people leave 
The local scene

And go to seaside
Bungalows
And take off nearly
All their clothes. 

John Updike

Happy Reading

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Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens (Review)

Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens

Blurb

Dombey and Son, Charles Dickens’s story of a powerful man whose callous neglect of his family triggers his professional and personal downfall, showcases the author’s gift for vivid characterization and unfailingly realistic description. As Jonathan Lethem contends in his Introduction, Dickens’s “genius . . . is at one with the genius of the form of the novel itself: Dickens willed into existence the most capacious and elastic and versatile kind of novel that could be, one big enough for his vast sentimental yearnings and for every impulse and fear and hesitation in him that countervailed those yearnings too. Never parsimonious and frequently contradictory, he always gives us everything he can, everything he’s planned to give, and then more.”

Review

This was my next classic for my Classics Club challenge and I was so happy that I had decided to include it on my list. This isn’t my favourite Dickens novel as that is A Tale of Two Cities but it is definitely a very close second. I could not put the book down. 

There is so much going on within this book which is all linked with Dombey, so many lives all touch even if just briefly. Though the real reason all these lives connect is because of Dombey’s children, Paul and Florence. Paul Dombey is the wanted son whose father has so many big plans for and Florence is the daughter who is not wanted and ignored. But Florence still loves and worships her father and tries to do everything in her power to make him love her. In a way this book is Florence’s story rather than her father’s story. 

This book focuses on the Dombey household mainly which after the death of the mother becomes a very sad household which starts to become dysfunctional. This is put into stark contrast with the other two households we encounter in the book which are so full of love and happiness although they are poorer financially than the Dombey household but they are richer in so many other ways. 

There are so many interesting characters within this novel. The forever smiling James Carker who is always compared to a grinning cat. The adorable Captain Cuttle who is terrified of his landlady but will do anything and give anything to those he loves. The wonderfully strong Susan Nipper who protects Florence and loves Florence with every fibre of her being. The faithful Walter whose faith never wavers. The loving Uncle Sol who will do anything for his nephew. Then there is one of my favourite characters the devoted Mr Toots, who is funny without meaning to be and gets into some interesting scrapes and friendships. Then there is Edith, who I felt sorry for but who I also disliked greatly because of the pain she caused. 

Dickens addresses so many things in this novel; pride, deceit, the value of love, child and parent relationships, unrequited love, revenge and much more. Dickens is such an expert in exploring and writing about the human condition and even though he was writing in the Victorian times so many of his themes are as relevant today as they were today. I laughed out loud whilst reading this book, I cried, I got angry, I went through so many emotions whilst reading this book. I loved this book so much and easily give it 5 out of 5 Dragons and it is definitely one of my favourite books this year. 

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Purchase Links

Book Depository | Bookshop.orgFoyles | 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

Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812-1870) was a writer and social critic who created some of the world’s best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the twentieth century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories enjoy lasting popularity.

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WWW Wednesday: 10/08/2022

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’ve been having a good week catching up on jobs around the house and in the garden and doing some teaching. I reward myself with reading which has been very nice.

What I am Currently Reading

Another Murderbot book that I can’t put down.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

I absolutely loved this book. Every book I read by George Eliot I fall more and more in love with her writing.

What I Think I will Read Next

There are so many books that I want to read, I am struggling to choose what to read next every time I finish a book.

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

Mid Week Quote: Oscar Wilde

Hello!

Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone is having a good week so far.

My chosen quote this week is by the Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde (1854-1900).

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” 

Oscar Wilde

Happy Reading

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Happy Book Lovers Day!

Happy Book Lovers Day!

A day to put aside those phones and instead enjoy a good book. To celebrate this day I have decided to list ten of my favourite short reads which are 300 pages or less.

Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by James Norbury

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Dogs in Medieval Manuscripts by Kathleen Walker-Meikle

Women of Holy Week by Paula Gooder

The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien by Georges Simenon

Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot

Matilda by Roald Dahl

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Sappho: Poems and Fragments

Borderlands by Brian McGilloway

These are all five Dragon reads and books that I absolutely loved.

Please drop me a comment with any of your favourite short reads.

Happy Book Lovers Day!

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

Goodreads Monday: 8/08/2022

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 and Happy Monday!

I have spent a lovely day working in the garden and reading. I also did a little bit of teaching which was good.

My chosen book today is one I should have no excuse to read. My husband has also never read this book but he owns many copies. Every time we go to a second hand bookshop my husband looks for The Vicar of Wakefield and if there is an old copy that is particularly nice he buys it. Hence, we have a lot of copies in the house.

Oliver Goldsmith’s hugely successful novel of 1766 remained for generations one of the most highly regarded and beloved works of eighteenth-century fiction. It depicts the fall and rise of the Primrose family, presided over by the benevolent vicar, the narrator of a fairy-tale plot of impersonation and deception, the abduction of a beautiful heroine and the machinations of an aristocratic villain. By turns comic and sentimental, the novel’s popularity owes much to its recognisable depiction of domestic life and loving family relationships.

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 is having a good weekend so far. I’ve had a much better week blogging and reading so I am feeling very happy and more relaxed. I always feel more relaxed when I can get a good amount of reading in.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I was rather naughty and started Rogue Protocol today but I couldn’t resist any longer. I am reading a bit of each book everyday and absolutely loving each one.

Happy Reading

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

All Systems Red by Martha Wells (Review)

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Blurb

“As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure.”

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighbouring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

Review

I had seen so many good reviews of this book and the series that I decided I had to read it so I downloaded the first book onto my Kindle ready for my summer holidays and devoured it in one sitting. 

I found Murderbot such an endearing character in this book. Murderbot was designed and built for a purpose and that purpose is a security unit for whoever needs it. Muderbot is part machine and part organic and is built sexless so has no chosen pronoun. SecUnits which is what Murderbot is, have choice in where they go or what they do, they just have to follow orders from the humans and most importantly protect the humans. However, Murderbot is special because it has become self aware, it has hacked its governor module and now it needs to work out exactly what it is and what it is going to do. It has also downloaded a lot of media and become somewhat of a TV addict. 

Even though Murderbot is rather scornful of the humans it is there to protect, it still does anything it can to protect the humans and as the story goes on it becomes quite clear that Murderbot becomes quite attached to its humans and the humans become quite attached to Murderbot. 

When the neighbouring mission goes dark it soon becomes clear a rescue mission must take place and this worries Murderbot who knows there could be trouble but the humans say a rescue mission is needed so Murderbot follows orders. 

Murderbot is uncomfortable around humans and quite shy so it only feels comfortable when hidden behind its helmet in full armour. Without the armour and helmet Murderbot feels vulnerable around the humans. Murderbot even uses cameras to look at the humans rather than face them directly. 

I loved this story and although it is really only the length of a novella the action kicks off straight away on page 2. I loved the characters but my favourite was Murderbot, I loved seeing it grow and develop and start to work out what exactly it is and what it wants to do with its existence. As soon as I finished this book I downloaded and started to read the next book because I just could not leave Murderbot behind. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

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About the author

Martha Wells has been an SF/F writer since her first fantasy novel was published in 1993, and her work includes The Books of the Raksura series, The Death of the Necromancer, the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, The Murderbot Diaries series, media tie-ins for Star Wars, Stargate: Atlantis, and Magic: the Gathering, as well as short fiction, YA novels, and non-fiction. She has won a Nebula Award, two Hugo Awards, two Locus Awards, and her work has appeared on the Philip K. Dick Award ballot, the BSFA Award ballot, the USA Today Bestseller List, and the New York Times Bestseller List. Her books have been published in eighteen languages.

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Bookshop.org | 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.)

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

Friday Poetry: William Blake

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has some exciting plans for the weekend. I have quite a busy weekend work wise but hopefully I will find a bit of time to get some reading in.

My chosen poem this week is by a favourite of mine, William Blake.

The Smile

There is a Smile of Love
And there is a Smile of Deceit
And there is a Smile of Smiles
In which these two Smiles meet

And there is a Frown of Hate
And there is a Frown of Disdain
And there is a Frown of Frowns
Which you strive to forget in vain

For it sticks in the Heart deep Core
And it sticks in the deep Back bone
And no Smile that ever was Smil'd
But only one Smile alone

That betwixt the Cradle & Grave
It only once Smil'd can be
But when it once is Smil'd
There's an end to all Misery

William Blake

Happy Reading

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