Goodreads Monday: 24/01/2022

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 Monday so far. I haven’t had much teaching today which has meant I could do bit of reading and have a lovely walk. Tomorrow is a busier day for me so will probably mean less reading but I am still hoping for a nice walk to clear away the cobwebs.

I am continuing to use my Goodreads Monday posts to feature a book on my Classics Club List as that makes up quite a bit of my TBR pile at the moment.

Taken from the poverty of her parents’ home in Portsmouth, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with her cousin Edmund as her sole ally. During her uncle’s absence in Antigua, the Crawford’s arrive in the neighbourhood bringing with them the glamour of London life and a reckless taste for flirtation. Mansfield Park is considered Jane Austen’s first mature work and, with its quiet heroine and subtle examination of social position and moral integrity, one of her most profound.

This will be a reread for me but I last read Mansfield Park in 2014 so it will be nice to read again and refresh my memory.

Please drop me a comment if you have taken part in 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.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

Absolutely loving both these books at the moment. I am really enjoying dipping into the Jane Austen and reading a short story with a cup of tea.

Happy Reading

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New Year’s Book Tag: 2022

New Year’s Book Tag

Hello everyone! 

I have seen this tag in the book blog world quite a bit recently and decided I would give it a go, as it looked fun. 

  1. How many books are you planning to read in 2022?

My Goodreads goal is 60 books which is slightly lower than usual. Usually I aim for 70 books but this year I have some pretty hefty books planned on my TBR, so I thought with the higher page count I would most likely read less books. 

2. Name 5 books that you didn’t get to in 2021 but want to make a priority in 2022.

Oh dear, there are so many books to choose from! My selected 5 are:

  • The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal
  • The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell
  • Lore by Alexandra Bracken
  • I, Claudius by Robert Graves
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

3. What genre do you want to read more of?

I really want to get back into my classics this year, so I plan to read more books published in the 1700’s and 1800’s. 

4. Name 3 non book related goals for 2022. 

  • To pass at least one exam on the ukulele
  • To get the planned home improvements started and finished. 
  • To do more performance work. 

5. What’s a book you’ve had forever that you still need to read?

This is a tricky question because I have so many. I very rarely get rid of books and I would never get rid of a book that I have never read. The book I will choose though is The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas.

6. One word that your hoping 2022 will be: adventurous. 

7. Tag a friend!

If you like the look of this Book Tag consider yourself tagged!

Happy Reading

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WWW Wednesday: 19/01/2022

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!

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

What I am Currently Reading

I am thoroughly enjoying Lady Susan and Other Works by Jane Austen and laughing my head off whilst reading it.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

I forgot how much I loved this series so I went straight on to the next book.

What I Think I will Read Next

I am trying to finish all the series that I have started last year and I also want to start The Witcher series so I am sure it will be one of these.

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

Top 5 Tuesday: Books I will Definitely Read in 2022

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

Hello!

I have not taken part in a Top 5 Tuesday for ages so I thought it was high time I returned.

2022 for me will hopefully involve reading more classics and finishing some of the many book series I have started and not finished. This means my 2022 TBR is rather large so I will do my best to select 5 books I will definitely read (I hope).

  1. Nemesis Games by James. S. A. Corey – This year I really want to finish The Expanse series and this is the next book to read in the series.
  2. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome – This book is on my Classics Club list and one that I think I might have read in the past and forgotten or started reading and never finished.
  3. The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan – In 2014 I read books 1-5 of The Wheel of Time series and then restarted and read books 1-3 in 2015. This year I have started at book one again and I determined this time I will finish the series. I’m never sure why I stop reading the books because I really love the series.
  4. Sovereign by C. J. Sansom – I love the Shardlake books and this is the next one I need to read. Again, another series I plan to finish this year.
  5. The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexander Dumas – Another book off my Classics Club list. I love The Three Musketeers so I hope I will enjoy this book.

Please drop me a link if you have taken part in Top 5 Tuesday 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

Goodreads Monday: 17/01/2022

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 and happy Monday!

I have decided for my Goodreads Monday posts I will feature some of the books I have on my Classics Club List.

This collection brings together Jane Austen’s earliest experiments in the art of fiction and novels that she left incomplete at the time of her premature death in 1817. Her fragmentary juvenilia show Austen developing her own sense of narrative form whilst parodying popular kinds of fiction of her day. Lady Susan is a wickedly funny epistolary novel about a captivating but unscrupulous widow seeking to snare husbands for her daughter and herself. The Watsons explores themes of family relationships, the marriage market, and attitudes to rank, which became the hallmarks of her major novels. In Sanditon, Austen exercises her acute powers of social observation in the setting of a newly fashionable seaside resort. These novels are here joined by shorter fictions that survive in Austen’s manuscripts, including critically acclaimed works like Catharine, Love and Friendship [sic], and The History of England.

This edition includes:
– Frederic and Elfrida
– Jack and Alice
– Edgar and Emma
– Henry and Eliza
– Love and Freindship
– A History of England
– The Three Sisters
– Lesley Castle
– Evelyn
– Catharine, or the Bower
– Lady Susan
– The Watsons
– Sanditon

This is the only Austen I have never read so I am looking forward to reading it and seeing what her writing was like as a younger less experienced writer.

Please drop me a comment if you have taken part in Goodreads Monday and I will head over for a visit.

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

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

This week has been a better week on the blogging front which is probably because I am back into a proper routine with work again.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

Just 50 pages left! I was going to have break before I moved to the second book but I don’t think I can wait.

I hope everyone has had a good week and I hope you all have a good week to come.

Happy Reading

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

A Scandinavian Christmas: Festive Tales for a Nordic Noel by Various authors (Review)

A Scandinavian Christmas: Festive Tales for a Nordic Noel by Various authors

Blurb

Have yourself a very hygge Christmas with some of the best Christmas stories from across Scandinavia – old and new 

This collection brings together the best Scandinavian Christmas stories including classics by Hans Christian Andersen of Denmark, Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlof, as well as the popular contemporary Karl Ove Knausgard. These Nordic tales convey a festive and contemplative spirit laden with lingonberries, elks, gnomes, Sami trolls, candles, church spires, gingerbread and aquavit in abundance. 

A smorgasbord of unexpected literary gifts which make up a vibrant, elegant hardcover volume sure to provide plenty of pleasure and hygge, that specifically Scandinavian blend of cosiness and contentment.

Review

As regular readers of my blog you will probably have noticed I love a Christmas book. So when I saw this book, I bought it for my Christmas 2021 reading (the review is rather late, apologies) because it looked like a good read. The book is made up of short stories which I thought would be perfect for dipping into over the Christmas period.

I will be honest this book was rather surprising to me and at times I almost gave up with it. The reason for this was because at times the stories could be quite depressing and not something I really wanted to read about over Christmas. Yes, I know it is Scandinavian and sometimes their work can be on the depressing side. I have read a lot of Hans Christian Andersen and know that he can be on the bleak side at times but I wasn’t expecting so much bleakness in this Christmas book. The other reason I almost gave up was because certain stories didn’t make much sense to me and felt incomplete or because they didn’t have anything to do with Christmas. 

My favourite stories were the ones by Hans Christian Andersen but I didn’t enjoy the more modern stories. Overall, for me the most Christmassy thing about the book is the beautiful cover. I had high hopes for this book and hoped the stories would have a bit of flare but overall I found the book rather flat and disappointing. I give this book 3 out 5 Dragons because there were a few stories I did enjoy. 

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Product 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.)

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

Village Christmas and Other Notes on the English Year by Laurie Lee (Review)

Village Christmas and Other Notes on the English Year by Laurie Lee

Blurb

From the author of Cider With Rosie, Village Christmas is a moving, lyrical portrait of England through the changing years and seasons.

Laurie Lee left his childhood home in the Cotswolds when he was nineteen, but it remained with him throughout his life until, many years later, he returned for good. This collection brings to life the sights, sounds, landscapes and traditions of his home – from centuries-old May Day rituals to his own patch of garden, from carol singing in crunching snow to pub conversations and songs. Here too he writes about the mysteries of love, living in wartime Chelsea, Winston Churchill’s wintry funeral and his battle, in old age, to save his beloved Slad Valley from developers.

Told with a warm sense of humour and a powerful sense of history, Village Christmas brings us a picture of a vanished world.

Review

I ordered this book in November to read in December but sadly it didn’t arrive until the beginning of January but once I saw it only had a few Christmas stories and the rest were all based on the rest of the year I decided to read it straight away. This is my first Laurie Lee book and I really enjoyed it.

The book is divided into the seasons and each season has lots of reflections from Lee’s past. The stories range from when he was a young boy growing up in his beloved village in the Cotswolds to when he was living in London. Lee also writes about some of his memories of when he returned to live in the Cotswolds and his fight to save the beauty of his village. 

I really loved Lee’s descriptions and his way with words in this book which meant that at times I could not put the book down. I particularly enjoyed his beautiful story called ‘The Shining Severn’ which describes the river Severn in all its glory. ‘Harvest Festival’ was also a favourite of mine but to be honest I loved all the stories and you could really appreciate the love Lee has for his country. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and hope to read ‘Cider with Rosie’ soon. I give this book 4 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

Laurence Edward Alan “Laurie” Lee, MBE, was an English poet, novelist, and screenwriter. His most famous work was an autobiographical trilogy which consisted of Cider with Rosie (1959), As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969) and A Moment of War (1991). While the first volume famously recounts his childhood in the idyllic Slad Valley, the second deals with his leaving home for London and his first visit to Spain in 1934, and the third with his return in December 1937 to join the Republican International Brigade.

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

WWW Wednesday: 12/01/2022

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 am back to work fully now but I am making sure I make plenty of time for reading.

What I am Currently Reading

I have almost finished this and I must admit I can’t wait to read the next book. I had forgotten what a great book this is.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

This wasn’t really a Christmas book as it was stories from the different seasons and only a couple of the stories were about Christmas. This was my first book by Laurie Lee but will definitely not be my last.

What I Think I will Read Next

I can’t wait to start reading some of the books off my list for The Classics Club but I also have The Witcher series to start as well.

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