Summer Reading Challenge: On the Bandwagon

Hello my fellow Book Dragons!

I am currently sat here listening to the rain, waiting for the BT engineer to come and fix our internet, as the BT engineer who was working in our road yesterday very kindly gave us somebody else’s phone line and we lost our lovely fibre broadband. Thankfully, I can use all my lovely phone data to blog with.

Summer is fast approaching and I still haven’t planned my reading list for the challenge. The challenge will start on the 21st June and finish on 23rd September 2019, also if by any chance I finish the beginner list early I will try and do some of the expert level reading prompts.

The chosen books so far:-

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

The Book is Better:- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

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

 

Just another 9 books to choose!

This prompt, On the Bandwagon, is to read one of the ‘most read’ books right now on Goodreads.

I have been having a look at the list and have chosen two likely targets that appeal to me.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

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Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

 

This has been on my TBR pile for a very long time and to honest is a very strong contender.

The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

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Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed… again.

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…

Another strong contender that has been on my TBR pile for way too long. This is going to be hard choice I feel.

 

To be honest looking at the list these are the only two that jump out at me, the others I have either read or just do not fancy reading. Hopefully only having two to choose from will make the choice easier. I am really starting to look forward to this challenge, I just hope I can stay on track and complete it.

Please let me know your thoughts on the two books and help me decide.

Happy reading.

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Down the TBR Hole #10

Down the TBR Hole was the brain child of Lost In A Story. The idea is to reduce the length of your Goodreads TBR.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads want to read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 or 10 books.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go

 

Hello again!

So it is time for another Down the TBR Hole, but I must be honest I have added a few more books to the list this week. The list is now at 474.

1. The Bridge Over the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle

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1942: Boldly advancing through Asia, the Japanese need a train route from Burma going north. In a prison camp, British POWs are forced into labor. The bridge they build will become a symbol of service and survival to one prisoner, Colonel Nicholson, a proud perfectionist. Pitted against the warden, Colonel Saito, Nicholson will nevertheless, out of a distorted sense of duty, aid his enemy. While on the outside, as the Allies race to destroy the bridge, Nicholson must decide which will be the first casualty: his patriotism or his pride.

 

 

 

I’m not entirely sure I still want to read this book as my reading tastes have changed quite a bit since 2014 when I added the book. So sadly I think this book is coming off the list.

GO

2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

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Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.

 

 

This definitely stays as I studied Sylvia Plath’s poems for my GCSE English and loved them so I really want to read this book and thankfully own a copy.

KEEP

3. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

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Life of Pi is a fantasy adventure novel by Yann Martel published in 2001. The protagonist, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, a Tamil boy from Pondicherry, explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve never been entirely sure what to make of this book and whether I really want to read it or not, so because I’m still undecided I have decided to remove it from the list for now.

GO

4. What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge

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Twelve-year-old Katy is constantly making and quickly breaking resolutions about how she will change her ways and treat others, especially her five younger brothers and sisters, with more respect and compassion. When Katy meets her Cousin Helen, an invalid, Katy is awed by her kindness, prettiness, and generosity. Katy is determined to become more like Helen, a resolution that lasts only a few hours. Soon, however, Katy gets a chance to become more like cousin Helen than she ever wished as she finds herself confined to her bedroom for four years as a result of an accident. Much of the story is focused on the change Katy undergoes during her illness. Helen visits again to advise Katy to learn from her experience and to try to become the center of the house by making her room and herself more attractive to others. One way Katy decides to take Helen’s advice is through assuming the responsibility of running the house, a job that consists of giving the servants instructions and ringing her bell to summon her sisters when she has a task for them. As soon as Katy has learned the lesson about how to care for others, she recovers and regains the ability to walk.

This is another that will stay on the list as I have been meaning to read it since I was little and have owned the book for many years.

KEEP

5. The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf

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Woolf’s first novel is a haunting book, full of light and shadow. It takes Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose and their niece, Rachel, on a sea voyage from London to a resort on the South American coast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sadly I just cannot get on with Virginia Woolf so this book is definitely not staying on the list. Her books just drive me a little bit crazy.

GO

6. Middlemarch by George Eliot

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Taking place in the years leading up to the First Reform Bill of 1832, Middlemarch explores nearly every subject of concern to modern life: art, religion, science, politics, self, society, human relationships. Among her characters are some of the most remarkable portraits in English literature: Dorothea Brooke, the heroine, idealistic but naive; Rosamond Vincy, beautiful and egoistic: Edward Casaubon, the dry-as-dust scholar: Tertius Lydgate, the brilliant but morally-flawed physician: the passionate artist Will Ladislaw: and Fred Vincey and Mary Garth, childhood sweethearts whose charming courtship is one of the many humorous elements in the novel’s rich comic vein.

To be honest I could have sworn I had read this book but apparently I have not. Possibly I tried to read it when I was little and gave up. So I will give it one more chance and keep it on the list.

KEEP

7. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

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When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum’s classic tale we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?

Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability, and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly, and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

An astonishingly rich re-creation of the land of Oz, this book retells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, who wasn’t so wicked after all. Taking readers past the yellow brick road and into a phantasmagoric world rich with imagination and allegory, Gregory Maguire just might change the reputation of one of the most sinister characters in literature.

I have always liked the idea of reading the Wicked books and finding out the history before the Wizard of Oz, so this definitely stays.

KEEP

8. Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens

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Dickens’s first historical novel is a thrilling tale of murder, treachery, and forbidden love with rioting mob scenes to make any reader’s hair stand on end
 Barnaby Rudge is a young innocent simpleton who is devoted to his talkative raven, Grip. When he gets caught up in the mayhem of the Gordon riots and a mysterious unsolved murder, his life is put in jeopardy. This is a powerful historical tale of forbidden love, abduction, and the dangerous power of the mob.

 

 

 

It is Dickens! Hence it stays.

KEEP

9. Felix Holt: The Radical by George Eliot

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When the young nobleman Harold Transome returns to England from the colonies with a self-made fortune, he scandalizes the town of Treby Magna with his decision to stand for Parliament as a Radical. But after the idealistic Felix Holt also returns to the town, the difference between Harold’s opportunistic values and Holt’s profound beliefs becomes apparent. Forthright, brusque and driven by a firm desire to educate the working-class, Felix is at first viewed with suspicion by many, including the elegant but vain Esther Lyon, the daughter of the local clergyman. As she discovers, however, his blunt words conceal both passion and deep integrity. Soon the romantic and over-refined Esther finds herself overwhelmed by a heart-wrenching decision: whether to choose the wealthy Transome as a husband, or the impoverished but honest Felix Holt.

I think I will take this one off the list for now and see what I think of the other George Eliot books first.

GO

10. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

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In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl’s virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction – at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful – and completely unforgettable.

 

 

 

 

I’ve always wanted to read this book so this will stay on the list.

KEEP

That’s another week done and 4 books off the list! The list is now down to 470.

I would love to hear your opinions on these books and also please drop me a link to your blog if you are also doing the Down the TBR Hole.

Bye for now.

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Summer Reading Challenge: The Book is Better

Well it is back to planning my books for the reading challenge. I have decided I’m going to try not to read books I have read before but go for all new reads.

I have chosen The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling for the first prompt Good as Gold. 

The prompt I have to work with next is The Book is Better: Read a book that is being adapted for film or TV this year.

So I have been having a little look around and have come up with a few options to mull over. They are as follows:-

The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook

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Hamburg, 1946. Thousands remain displaced in what is now the British Occupied Zone. Charged with overseeing the rebuilding of this devastated city and the de-Nazification of its defeated people, Colonel Lewis Morgan is requisitioned a fine house on the banks of the Elbe, where he will be joined by his grieving wife, Rachael, and only remaining son, Edmund.

But rather than force its owners, a German widower and his traumatized daughter, to leave their home, Lewis insists that the two families live together. In this charged and claustrophobic atmosphere all must confront their true selves as enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.

 

Where’s You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

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When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox is on the brink of a meltdown. And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces–which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past Bernadette has been hiding for decades. Where’d You Go Bernadette is an ingenious and unabashedly entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are and the power of a daughter’s love for her mother.

 

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

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It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

 

The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle

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Roy is a conman living in a small English town, about to pull off his final con. He is going to meet and woo a beautiful woman and slip away with her life savings. But who is the man behind the con? What has he had to do to survive a life of lies? And who has had to pay the price?

When Roy meets a wealthy widow online, he can hardly believe his luck. Just like Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley, Roy is a man who lives to deceive—and everything about Betty suggests she’s an easy mark. He’s confident that his scheme to swindle her will be a success. After all, he’s done this before.

Sure enough, Betty soon lets Roy move into her beautiful home, seemingly blind to the web of lies he’s woven around her. But who is Roy, really? Spanning almost a century, this stunning and suspenseful feat of storytelling interweaves the present with the past. As the clock turns back and the years fall away, long-hidden secrets are forced into the light. Some things can never be forgotten. Or forgiven.

 

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

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The novel is set during World War II, from 1942 to 1944. It mainly follows the life of Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier. Most of the events in the book occur while the fictional 256th Squadron is based on the island of Pianosa, in the Mediterranean Sea, west of Italy. The novel looks into the experiences of Yossarian and the other airmen in the camp, who attempt to maintain their sanity while fulfilling their service requirements so that they may return home.

 

 

 

So these are my options to mull over and decide what I would like to choose, to be honest I want to read them all and have put them on my TBR list but I need to choose one for my challenge.

Any help would be most welcome, please feel free to let me know your preferences.

Happy reading.

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New Books 4/06/2019

Happy Tuesday!

I have recently bought a load of books to help me complete my Level 3 Diploma in Diet and Nutrition. So far I have really been enjoying dipping into the books and finding out more facts.

The books are:-

Nutrition for Dummies by Carol Ann Rinzler

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The Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford

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Your Body’s Many Cries for Water by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.

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You Are What You Eat by Dr Gillian McKeith

9780141029757

The Digestive System by Margaret E. Smith and Dion G. Morton

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Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch

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So these are the books for my course, I do not think I will read them cover to cover but I will definitely be using them a lot. The Water book I have started reading from the beginning and so far can not put it down.

Happy reading.

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ABC Book Challenge

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a good weekend.

I’m returning to the ABC Book Challenge this week for the letter C.

To see my previous posts please click on the links.

A | B |

 

Books I have loved beginning with C.

 

Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett

Caste-Off by Jeffrey Archer

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Celtic Saints by Martin Wallace, Ann MacDuff

Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Christina Rosenthal by Jeffrey Archer

Christmas at the Beach Hut by Veronica Henry

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher

Coming Home by Michael Morpurgo

Coraline and Other Stories by Neil Gaiman

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths

 

Books on my TBR list beginning with C

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

Catch – 22 by Joseph Heller

Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman

Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe and the Cyclops by Homer

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

 

 

Well that is another letter done! Some very good books on the TBR list.

I hope you all have a good week.

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Waterstones Challenge: Birmingham

Hello everyone.

I have finally managed to get to a Waterstones this month, it was very overdue.

This Waterstones was the one in Birmingham, I love this store as I always go there just before Christmas when I visit the German Market. I usually go to buy Christmas presents but I must admit I usually end up spending a lot of money on Christmas books for myself. Very naughty I know.

So I bought two books from Waterstones and strangely enough they both have yellow covers. Although yellow is one of my favourite colours I promise I didn’t get the books just because they have yellow covers.

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Six Tudor Queens: Anna of Kleve Queen of Secrets by Alison Weir

I have been getting the full series of these books so I was quite happy to see the next one was out in the shops.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

This has been on my TBR list for while so now I own it I hope to read it soon.

I love this store because it has so many books in it and it is well spaced out. I highly recommend this Waterstones if you are taking a trip to Birmingham.

Happy Reading!

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Summer Reading Challenge: Good as Gold

Hello everyone.

I hope you all had a wonderful bank holiday weekend.

I am now trying to work out what books to read for my first ever reading challenge The Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge: Beginner level and today I am looking at the prompt Good as Gold. This means a book that has won the Goodreads Choice Award, so I have had a look at the options and come up with two winners that take my fancy. I have discarded the winners that I have already read because I want to read new books. I must admit every year I vote in the choice awards and my choices have never won. I also find not many of the books I read are nominated, perhaps I just don’t read the right books.

2012 Winner

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When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils … Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

 

2013 Winner

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So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one…Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Abdullah, Pari – as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named – is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their heads touching, their limbs tangled. One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand. Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways in which we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.

 

These are the two books I have chosen out of the winners and now I just have to decide which one to go for. I own ‘The Casual Vacancy’ so that is one advantage but I don’t mind buying ‘And The Mountains Echoed’. I love both authors but I am a bit worried about ‘And The Mountains Echoed’ as Khaled Hosseini can be a rather sad read and I’m not sure I want to be crying whilst on holiday. 

I would be happy to hear your thoughts on the two books, as I would love to have some help with my choice.

Happy reading!

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