Book Club

Hello!

I hope this post finds everyone safe and well.

So, since Monday we have been on lockdown but before this my husband and myself started self shielding from Wednesday last week as my health is not great, so other than going out for a walk each day and checking on our parents we have been at home. This has meant lots more reading, studying, music and just generally wondering what to do next. I have now started to write a daily To-do list!

However, before the self shielding a local independent bookshop that set up in the town where my sister lives announced they were planning on starting a Book Club. I was very excited about this because I’ve always wanted to join a Book Club but because of work etc I’ve never found one that I can actually get to. This Book Club was going to be on my day off though, so I was planning on joining. Then things got put on hold due to the present circumstances we all find ourselves in. However, I am pleased to announce the book shop has decided to set the Book Club up on Facebook and have accepted my request to join.

This wonderful book shop is called Wyre Forest Books which is in Bewdley, and I was so excited when it opened as some of my fondest memories as a child were visiting an independent book shop called Bewdley Books and sometimes following our visit with a visit to a little sweet shop, what could be better than books and sweets? So I made sure I visited the new book shop as soon as I could. Now I am very worried about this book shop and all independent book shops during this difficult time and want to do my part in keeping them going. However, I am also not currently working and as I am self employed not earning so fund wise I don’t really have many pennies to spare and have decided that if I want to buy a book I will use whatever Waterstones points I have. But to support Wyre Forest Books today I gave them a ring and ordered the first club book read and I plan on ordering all future Book Club reads from there, funds allowing.

So what is the book?

The book is Half a World Away by Mike Gayle

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Strangers living worlds apart.
Strangers with nothing in common.

But it wasn’t always that way…

Kerry Hayes is single mum, living on a tough south London estate. She provides for her son by cleaning houses she could never hope to afford. Taken into care as a child, Kerry cannot ever forget her past.

Noah Martineau is a successful barrister with a beautiful wife, daughter and home in fashionable Primrose Hill. Adopted as a child, Noah always looks forward, never back.

When Kerry reaches out to the sibling she lost on the day they were torn apart as children, she sets in motion a chain of events that will have life-changing consequences for them both.

 

Mike Gayle was meant to be visiting Wyre Forest Books but has sadly had to cancel due to present circumstances but is planning to visit when hopefully normality returns. Hopefully I might get my copy signed!

So that is my exciting news! I will keep you updated about my Book Club adventures.

Here is the Facebook link to my little book shop Wyre Forest Books

My final word today though is support your local book shop if you can, let’s help keep them going so we have a wonderful shop to visit when all this is over and not another closed book shop never to return again. Order a book over the phone or online, buy a book voucher, anything to keep them going, and if you can’t support them financially give them a like and share on social media and show them some love. Thank you my fellow Book Dragons!

Please drop me a comment for a chat!

Stay safe everyone.

Happy Reading

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Be More Cat by Alison Davies (Review)

Be More Cat: Life Lessons from our feline friends by Alison Davies

About the author

Alison Davies is an author, columnist for Child Education and a freelance writer for a range of magazines including Nursery World and Mother and Baby.

Blurb

Careful observation of the behavioural quirks of our favourite felines can actually be very revealing. From living in the moment, to trusting our sixth-sense instincts, to taking cat naps, and even going feral, there are real benefits to being more cat! In Be More Cat, Alison Davies explores nine key traits we can take on board to be more cat-like and live a happier, healthier, and all around ‘feline fabulous’ existence. With practical tips and exercises, interspersed with folklore and fun facts about our kitty gurus, there’s something for everyone in this cute, fully illustrated guide!

Review

I received this book as a Christmas present off my cats, maybe they are hinting that I am too stressed and need to be more relaxed like a cat. This is essentially a mindfulness book, linking mindfulness with cats’ behaviour and how we can use things that cats do to become more relaxed.

I really enjoyed this book and it did make me giggle a lot and I must admit I read it in one sitting as I just could not put it down. The other element I really liked was that the book has nine chapters like a cat has nine lives and each chapter was somehow cat related.

The book gives helpful little exercises that should help us and are what cats do, for instance cats will stare at a wall for hours on end in our case we would meditate. There are a lot of these different exercises in the book to help us be more mindful but I must admit some do tend to repeat themselves. There are also some cat related tips in the book which are also very amusing and very factual.

The other thing I loved about this book was the wonderful little cat illustrations that run through the book. The book is also scattered with cat related quotes which I really enjoyed.

This book is basically a self help book and the exercises are all basically yoga or meditation based but linking them to cats is brilliant. I really enjoyed this book and give it 4 out 5 Dragons. The only reason it did not get the full 5 Dragons was because it was a little repetitive. Highly recommend to all cat lovers out there!

Purchase Links

Waterstones

Happy Reading!

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WWW Wednesday: 4th December 2019

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and a 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 everyone!

I’m very happy because I have managed to get quite a bit of reading in over the last week. I hope everyone else is having a good December so far.

 

What am I currently reading?

I’m reading A Literary Christmas in bits so I am basically dipping into it when I want something festive to read. 

Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas is going OK so far even if it is making me grimace in places.

 

What I recently finished reading

I finished these three books basically at the same time I enjoyed them all but my favourite of the three was Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles by Phillipa Ashley.

 

What I plan on reading next

I am rather excited about these two books and I’m not sure which I will read first so I have put them both up.

 

Drop me comment if you have read any of these books and please drop a comment with your link in if you have also done the WWW Wednesday and I will check it out.

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One Day in Winter by Shari Low (Book Review)

One Day in Winter by Shari Low

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About the author

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Shari Low is a No. 1 bestselling author who has written over 20 novels and currently lives in Glasgow.

Blurb

One morning in December, Caro set off on a quest to find out if her relationship with her father had been based on a lifetime of lies. Lila decided to tell her lover’s wife of their secret affair. Cammy was on the way to pick up the ring for the surprise proposal to the woman he loved. And Bernadette vowed to walk away from her controlling husband of 30 years and never look back. In one day, four lives will change forever.

Review

This book was another freebie on Apple Books and a very enjoyable read if a little predictable.

The first thing that I enjoyed was that the book is very cleverly spread over one day with each chapter focusing on a certain character. The characters it focuses on are Caro, Lila, Bernadette and Cammy and how these four lives are separate but also linked.

I loved the character of Caro and felt so sorry for her, I do not think I would have coped like she did if I was in her situation. She was down to earth, kind and a decent caring person. Lila however is a complete contrast, she is selfish, uncaring, vain to the core and absolutely obsessed with the media, I really loathed her.

Cammy is a good man if a little vain but he basically wants to settle down and have a good life. Cammy I also felt sorry for because he is also boyishly naive and this leads to him not seeing the cold hard facts.

I must admit this book didn’t move me as much as I thought it would and I think Lila deserved to have had a much more just ending, she did not deserve her ending at all in my opinion and that is why I only gave it 3 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase Links

Book Depository

Waterstones

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November Wrap Up

Hello my fellow Book Dragons!

Well it has been another busy month with lots of studying and assignment writing as well as the normal day job keeping me busy.

Not as many books read this month but hopefully in December it will increase because I have loads of books I want to read.

 

Books Read (Click on the Titles to be taken to the review):-

 

 

The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths

Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare

A Very Murderous Christmas by various.

 

Total page count this month:- 656

Year page count:- 14,017

 

Happy reading!

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The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths (Review)

The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths

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About the author

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Elly Griffiths was born in London and began her career in publishing, she then turned to writing full time. In 2016 she won the CWA Dagger in the Library for her work. Griffiths lives in Brighton with her family and the cat Gus.

Blurb

Forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway is called in to advise when builders, demolishing a Victorian house in Norwich, uncover the skeleton of a child – minus the skull. Is it some ritual sacrifice or just plain murder?

The house was once a children’s home. DCI Harry Nelson meets the priest who used to run it, who tells him two children did go missing forty years before – a boy and a girl. They were never found.

But someone is trying hard to put both Ruth and Nelson off the scent – and a seemingly forgotten crime becomes terrifyingly real, with deadly consequences.

Review

Firstly, Elly Griffiths is fast becoming an absolute favourite of mine, every book of hers I read I can not put down and look forward to reading the next one.

I loved this story and loved the connections with Roman history and the God Janus. When I was younger I absolutely loved the history of the Roman Gods and Janus was a personal favourite, I became obsessed with closing gates so I didn’t anger him.

It was really nice to be reading about Dr Ruth Galloway again, she is such a wonderful character, she is down to earth, intelligent and not glamorous or hung up on her appearance. DCI Nelson is rough around the edges and does not pull his punches and quite funny.

The character that I really enjoyed in this book is Cathbad, he is so free and funny and really does not care what people think of him. I wish he would feature more in the stories to be honest.

The book was fast paced and kept me hooked from the beginning. I must admit I did work out the culprit but it did not ruin the story for me and it was a nice surprise that the story did not go down the predictable line I thought it was looking like.

The other element I loved was the personal dramas of the characters unfolding and I enjoyed that as much as the actual crime investigation unfolding. Overall I loved this book and have given it 5 out 5 Dragons. I highly recommend it to everyone but especially people who love a good crime drama.

Purchase links:-

Waterstones

Book Depository

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The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Review)

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

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About the author

Margaret Atwood born 18th November 1939 is a Canadian author, poet, essayist and literary critic. She has written numerous fiction and non-fiction books, books of poetry and children’s books. She has won the Giller Prize in Canada, Premio Mondello in Italy and the 2000 Booker Prize. She was also awarded the Asturias Prize for Literature in 2008.

Blurb

In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades.

When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her–freedom, prison or death.

With The Testaments, the wait is over.

Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story more than fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

Review

This book was a welcome change from The Handmaid’s Tale that I will be honest I really did not enjoy but thankfully because I had preordered this book and forgot it until it turned up on my doorstep I read it instead of just avoiding it because of thinking it would be like The Handmaid’s Tale. I understand that people find my opinions on The Handmaid’s Tale as controversial and a lot of people will find my opinions on The Testaments as controversial but thankfully we are all different and that is what makes us all interesting.

I loved this book and would have happily read it a lot quicker but I have a lot of university reading that is taking up my reading time. The first thing that struck me was how different the writing style was from The Handmaid’s Tale. The book flowed better and to me made more sense and because there was so much more information in it about Gilead and its history I found the book a great deal more interesting.

I loved the characters in this book especially sweet Becka who was just so kind and loving even though she had such a horrid upbringing. To me she is the embodiment of goodness in the dark and dangerous world of Gilead.

The character of Aunt Lydia was what really made the book. Her contributions were fantastic and I loved how she could play all the other characters like they were on a chess board. She could orchestrate everything because she was always so many moves ahead of everyone and her main talent was reading people and knowing how people would act.

This book also keeps you on your toes because it has a great deal more action within it in comparison to The Handmaid’s Tale and this is probably another reason why I enjoyed this book more.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and due to this I have given the book the full 5 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase links

Waterstones

Book Depository

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Birthday Books!

Hello my fellow readers!

So on Sunday I had a birthday and of course I had a few books and one of these books I was very excited about as I had been dropping subtle hints to my husband for this book for quite a while.

So I had three books and one very pretty notebook.

The books were:-

The Greek Plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. 

Marvel: Golden Age 1939-49 (Folio Society)

The Bartender’s Guide to Gin 

Alice in Wonderland notebook

 

So the book I had been dropping many hints about was the Marvel Golden Age book by The Folio Society, I love all things Folio and when I saw this book I knew I wanted it and so the hints began. I was very happy that I had it for my birthday as I just love all things comic book and Marvel.

The Greek Plays has been on my wish list for a while so I was really pleased to also get this book for my birthday, hopefully it might help with my Masters.

My brother got me the gin book and so far I have tried two of the recipes and they have been excellent!

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The notebook is very pretty but I haven’t decided yet what to use it for. I always like to plan what I will use a notebook for before using, as I do not want to ruin it by putting rubbish in it.

So that is my birthday book haul.

Happy reading.

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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 Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen (ARC Review)

The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen

About the author

Amy Kuivalainen is a Finnish-Australian writer that is obsessed with magical wardrobes, doors, auroras and burial mounds that might offer her a way into another realm. Until then, she will write about fairy tales, monsters, magic and mythology because that’s the next best thing. She is the author of The Firebird Fairytales Trilogy and The Blood Lake Chronicles series that mash up traditional tales and mythology in new and interesting ways.

Blurb

In the heart of Venice, a woman is sacrificed to a forgotten god, sparking a mystery lost for thousands of years.

Dr. Penelope Bryne is ridiculed by the academic community for her quest to find the remnants of Atlantis, but when an ancient and mysterious script is found at a murder site, she flies to Venice determined to help the police before the killer strikes again.

Penelope has spent her entire life trying to ignore the unexplainable and magical history of Atlantis, but when she meets the enigmatic Alexis Donato, everything she believes will be challenged. Little does she know, Alexis has spent the last three years doing his best to sabotage Penelope’s career so doesn’t learn the truth—Atlantis had seven magicians who survived, and who he has a duty to protect.

As Alexis draws her into the darkly, seductive world of magic and history, Penelope will have to use her heart as well as her head if she is to find the answers she seeks. 

With the new MOSE system due to come online, and Carnivale exploding around them, Penelope and Alexis will have to work together to stop the killer and prevent dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea.

Review

Thank you to NetGalley and BHC Press for granting me an advanced copy of this book for an honest review.

I was so happy that my request on NetGalley was granted for this book and a couple of days ago I started the book and to be honest finished it in a matter of hours, I simply could not put it down. Even though the book has not been published yet I am desperate for the sequel to be published.

I found the story to immediately hook me in and wanted to keep reading, the idea of a forgotten language and god suddenly arising after thousands of years was fascinating. I also thoroughly enjoyed the idea of magicians existing in the world for thousands of years hidden from mankind but one human has managed to get through to them and that person is Dr Penelope Bryne.

Penelope has always loved the mystery of Atlantis and even though people make fun of her she never gives up trying to find it and prove that it exists. I loved her drive and passion in the book, she is a massively strong character but also has her weaknesses but she knows how to control this using her yoga and meditation practises. I have never had much time for yoga but reading this book has made me want to try it again.

The setting of the book was beautifully chosen, what better place to choose than Venice? I would love to visit Venice because it always strikes me as a magical place especially when Carnivale is taking place. I hope in the next books Venice will feature heavily and we get to see more of the catacombs and hidden parts of Venice.

The seven magicians were brilliant as they all have their own individual characters which comes through their magic. So each magician engages their magic differently depending on how their magic is formed and created. They all reminded me of Greek Gods and by their descriptions they look like Greek Gods as well. Although they also seem like teenagers when left unattended by a responsible person for too long. All in all it seems like a fun place to be when they are all playing around.

I loved this book so much I have actually pre-ordered the hardback of the book to read again and hopefully one day will have a hardback sequel to add to the collection. I highly recommend this book to fantasy and history lovers. I give this book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons and cannot wait to read it again.

To Purchase

Waterstones