This and That Thursday

Hello!

I thought it was time to share what I have been up to outside of reading this week as it has been rather an exciting week.

Dissertation writing continues and I am still enjoying it so that is a good sign.

Elephant Hunting

I met up with my two best friends for the first time in nearly two years and we went to Worcester to do the elephant trail. It was so much fun and so lovely to spend time with friends again.

Safari Park

I have also been to the safari park this week and it was wonderful to see all the animals. I haven’t been to the safari park for over ten years so it was wonderful to see everything again and the new addition of the Red Panda. My husband loved the Red Panda and bought a massive cuddly toy of one. I had a little elephant toy.

Family Party

At the weekend we had a get together with my husbands side of the family which was wonderful to see everyone. It was an evening of good food, drink and excellent conversation.

It was so nice to get away from teaching this week and go on some adventures. Hopefully, we will be going on some more soon.

Happy Reading

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Goodreads Monday: 16/08/2021

Goodreads Monday is hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners.  All you have to do is show off a book from your TBR that you’re looking forward to reading.

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone has had a good start to the week. I am taking a week off teaching this week, so today I have done three hours of dissertation writing, some fun reading, a nice walk and baked some cookies. A very relaxing day.

I am sticking with my classics theme and hopefully I will have built up a nice list of classic books to start reading once the dissertation is all finished and handed in.

Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. Dumas’ epic tale of suffering and retribution, inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, was a huge popular success when it was first serialized in the 1840s.

One of my all time favourite books is The Three Musketeers and I have read it more than once so I really want to read The Count of Monte Cristo to see if it is just as good. I know it will take me a long time to read but I do like reading longer books.

Please drop me a comment if you have read this book, I would love to hear your thoughts. Also please drop me a link to your Goodreads Monday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading.

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The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good weekend so far.

This week has been slightly better for me blogging wise so I hope it continues.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I’ve been struggling to get into this but I will keep trying for a little longer.

So there is another week complete.

Happy Reading

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Friday Poetry: Wendy Cope

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has exciting plans for the weekend. I have a family get together on Saturday and an actual day off on Sunday.

My chosen poem this week is by the English poet Wendy Cope (1945).

Shakespeare at School

Forty boys on benches with their quills,
Six days a week through almost all the year,
Long hours of Latin with relentless drills
And repetition, all enforced by fear.
I picture Shakespeare sitting near the back,
Indulging in a risky bit of fun
By exercising his prodigious knack
Of thinking up an idiotic pun,
And whispering his gem to other boys,
Some of whom could not suppress their mirth - 
Behaviour that unfailingly annoys
Any teacher anywhere on earth
The fun was over when the master spoke:
Will Shakespeare, come up here and share the joke.

Wendy Cope

Happy Reading

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WWW Wednesday: 11/08/2021

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.

So here is how my week has been going.

What I am Currently Reading

I’ve just started reading Sistersong and I must admit I am struggling to get into it at the moment but I will keep going.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

I really did not get on well with The Man in the Brown Suit (review) and to be honest it almost put me into a reading slump. Thankfully, Mrs England (review) was amazing and got me out of the reading slump.

What I Think I will Read Next

This month I am only reading hardback books so that will limit my selection and hopefully help me to choose what to read next.

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

Happy Reading

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Mrs England by Stacey Halls (Review)

Mrs England by Stacey Halls 

Blurb

West Yorkshire, 1904.

When newly graduated nurse Ruby May takes a position looking after the children of Charles and Lilian England, a wealthy couple from a powerful dynasty of mill owners, she hopes it will be the fresh start she needs. But as she adapts to life at the isolated Hardcastle House, it becomes clear there’s something not quite right about the beautiful, mysterious Mrs England. Ostracised by the servants and feeling increasingly uneasy, Ruby is forced to confront her own demons in order to prevent history from repeating itself. After all, there’s no such thing as the perfect family – and she should know.

Simmering with slow-burning menace, Mrs England is a portrait of an Edwardian marriage, weaving an enthralling story of men and women, power and control, courage, truth and the very darkest deception. Set against the atmospheric landscape of West Yorkshire, Stacey Halls’ third novel proves her one of the most exciting and compelling new storytellers of our times.

Review

I thought I was in the beginning of a reading slump but then I started reading this book and the reading slump soon disappeared. I just could not put this down it kept me riveted from beginning to end. 

This book is mainly set in Yorkshire and is a true gothic novel with more than one mystery to solve. Ruby May is a Norland nurse who spends her time keeping busy with her charges and sending all the money she can afford home to help her family but it is also clear that Nurse May has a secret in her past and this secret she keeps locked up in a tin in her trunk but you can tell that the secret weighs heavily on Nurse May and she is never free from it. 

Nurse May finds herself working for the England family but soon realises something is not right with her mistress Mrs England but she can’t work out what it is. Due to Mrs England’s aloofness Nurse May directs all questions about the children to Mr England and  soon finds Mr England to be the perfect master. However, something is still not right about the house and Nurse May can sense this and you soon realise as the reader that there is another mystery to try and work out that surrounds the house.

The setting in the Yorkshire countryside really adds to this book, the wild crags, waterfall and forest all make the characters seem isolated and in danger. The other fact that all doors need to be locked at all times really adds to this fear of something or someone. 

I loved reading this book the atmosphere and the mystery meant that I just could not stop reading the book until I had all the answers I wanted. I will definitely be reading more books by Stacey Halls and I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.

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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

Stacey Halls grew up in Rossendale, Lancashire, as the daughter of market traders. She has always been fascinated by the Pendle witches. She studied journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and moved to London aged 21. She was media editor at The Bookseller and books editor at Stylist.co.uk, and has also written for Psychologies, the Independent and Fabulous magazine, where she now works as Deputy Chief Sub Editor. The Familiars is her first novel.

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

Goodreads Monday: 9/08/2021

Goodreads Monday is hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners.  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 so far.

I’m really craving some classics at the moment and have decided once I have finished my dissertation I will go on a classics binge read. So I have decided to choose a classic for my Goodreads Monday.

Here is my chosen book.

Serving on the jury at a murder trial, Prince Dmitri Nekhlyudov is devastated when he sees the prisoner – Katyusha, a young maid he seduced and abandoned years before. As Dmitri faces the consequences of his actions, he decides to give up his life of wealth and luxury to devote himself to rescuing Katyusha, even if it means following her into exile in Siberia. But can a man truly find redemption by saving another person? Tolstoy’s most controversial novel, Resurrection (1899) is a scathing indictment of injustice, corruption and hypocrisy at all levels of society. Creating a vast panorama of Russian life, from peasants to aristocrats, bureaucrats to convicts, it reveals Tolstoy’s magnificent storytelling powers.

Two of my favourite books are Anna Karenina and War and Peace so I am really looking forward to reading this.

Please drop me a comment with your 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

Happy Sunday!

I hope everyone is having a good weekend so far.

I have got my blogging and reading mojo back this week so fingers crossed it continues.

Here is what I have been up to on the blog.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I can’t put this down, it is absolutely brilliant so far.

So there is my week on the blog.

Happy Reading

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

The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie (Review)

The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie

Blurb

A young woman investigates an accidental death at a London tube station, and finds herself on a ship bound for South Africa… Pretty, young Anne came to London looking for adventure. In fact, adventure comes looking for her – and finds her immediately at Hyde Park Corner tube station. Anne is present on the platform when a thin man, reeking of mothballs, loses his balance and is electrocuted on the rails.The Scotland Yard verdict is accidental death. But Anne is not satisfied. After all, who was the man in the brown suit who examined the body? And why did he race off, leaving a cryptic message behind: ‘17-122 Kilmorden Castle’? 

Review

This is the fourth book in my Agatha Christie challenge and I will be honest it is the first Agatha Christie novel that I actually considered not finishing. The main reason for this was that I just found the lead character Anne Beddingfield ridiculous and extremely annoying. The only thing that kept me reading was the very humorous diary entries of Sir Eustace and wanting to find out who the culprit was. 

Anne has had an odd childhood and spent most her life making sure her genius but eccentric father doesn’t do anything crazy but when he passes away she decides it is time for an adventure and gets the chance to move to London. She then witnesses the death of a man and decides to investigate. This leads to her going off all on her own with barely any money on a ship bound for South Africa. Thankfully she meets Colonel Race and Suzanne who can keep an eye on her but this doesn’t stop her falling into ridiculous traps and just walking into trouble. The amount of times she got into trouble really started to annoy me as the girl really had no common sense. 

Sir Eustace just wants an easy, comfortable life but due to his mysterious secretary Pagett he never gets a moment’s peace from work or the annoying stationary trunk. Sir Eustace, who is also ship-bound for Cape Town, befriends Anne, Suzanne and Colonel Race. Sir Eustace has a very odd obsession for girls with fine legs and liquid eyes and complains a great deal if women do not have these items. 

Colonel Race is a true gentleman who I must admit I felt rather sorry for during this book. Suzanne is the wife of a wealthy man and she delights in travelling without her husband and spending all of his money. She is a rather spoiled character who also drove me a little insane.

Overall, the plot was interesting and had plenty of red herrings to keep you on your toes but sadly the female characters just drove me a little bit mad. I think that with a different lead character I would have been a lot happier with the book. I give this book 2 Dragons out of 5. 

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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

Agatha Christie (1890-1976) was an English writer known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections. She also wrote the world’s longest running play, The Mousetrap. She also wrote 6 novels under the name Mary Westmacott.

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

Friday Poetry: Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Happy Friday!

We are nearly at the weekend YAY! I hope everyone has had a good week so far.

My chosen poem this week is by Tennyson. I have chosen this poem because I really like its playful nature.

Minnie and Winnie

Minnie and Winnie
Slept in a shell.
Sleep, little ladies!
And they slept well.

Pink was the shell within,
Silver without;
Sounds of the great sea
Wander'd about.

Sleep, little ladies!
Wake not soon!
Echo on echo
Dies to the moon.

Two bright stars
Peep'd into the shell.
'What are you dreaming of?
Who can tell?'

Started a green linnet
Out of the croft;
Wake, little ladies,
The sun is aloft! 

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Happy Reading!

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