The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a nice weekend so far. I have fallen behind on my blogging this week because I was busy prepping for my first Christmas stall with Lyra’s Pawsome Books. The stall was yesterday and it was great fun and when I came home I also discovered I had an order on Etsy which was fantastic. I am thoroughly enjoying my new little venture.

Anyway, back to the blog.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I am really enjoying Ithaca so far and finding it a really interesting take on the story of Penelope.

Happy Reading

Etsy

WWW Wednesday: 23/11/2022

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 have been doing really well with my reading this week and I have also discovered the app Bookly which has been really pushing my reading.

What I am Currently Reading

I’m still reading Warrior Queens and Quiet Revolutionaries but I am just dipping into it when I fancy reading some non-fiction. I have started Ithaca and really enjoying it so far.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

I flew through The Hemlock Cure because I found it such a fantastic read. I really enjoyed The Mystery of the Blue Train here is the review.

What I Think I will Read Next

I really want to start my Christmas reading soon so I’m not entirely sure how long I will hold out before I start reading Christmas is Coming.

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

Happy Reading

Etsy

Christmas Reading List 2022

Hello!

I have started compiling my Christmas reading list for this year. I always start reading my Christmas books on December 1st but I might start slightly earlier this year as I am struggling to resist. I love compiling and planning my Christmas reads. December is the only time I really ever plan my reading as I am a mood reader generally.

My list so far is mainly made up of books left over from my Christmas TBR 2021 but I will most likely add some more in December.

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling – I have been reading the illustrated Harry Potter books after Christmas Day but before New Year so this will be the next one.
  • Snowflakes on Silver Cove by Holly Martin – This is a new author for me but the storyline looks really good.
  • One Family Christmas by Bella Osborn – Another new author for me.
  • One More for Christmas by Sarah Morgan – reading a Sarah Morgan Christmas book has become a bit of a Christmas tradition for me so I have to one one on my TBR.
  • A Surprise Christmas Wedding by Phillipa Ashley – Another Christmas tradition author for me.
  • Christmas Poems by Wendy Cope – Picked this up in Bath last month and really looking forward to reading it.
  • Christmas is Coming by Monika Utnik-Strugała – This is the book I might start before December as I would like to read about the traditions before they happen.
  • Murder on a Winter’s Night by Various authors – I love this series of books and always buy the latest ones to read over December. My dad also really enjoys them so he also borrows them as well.

So there is my Christmas reading list so far. If you would like to recommend any Christmas books to me then please do as I love finding new Christmas books.

Happy Reading

Etsy

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a nice weekend so far. I have actually managed to get some decent reading in this weekend which has made me very happy.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I started The Hemlock Cure yesterday and I have not been able to put it down. I suspect I will manage to finish it tomorrow all being well.

Happy Reading

Etsy

The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie (Review)

The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie 

Blurb

‘I want a change. To be in the midst of things – exciting things – even if I’m only the looker-on. You know, things don’t happen in St Mary Mead.’

When the luxurious Blue Train arrives at Nice, a guard attempts to wake Ruth Kettering from her slumbers. But she will never wake again – for a heavy blow has killed her, disfiguring her features almost beyond recognition. What is more, her precious rubies are missing.

The prime suspect is Ruth’s estranged husband, Derek. Yet Poirot is not convinced, so he stages an eerie re-enactment of the journey, complete with the murderer on board…

Review

I read quite a lot of this book sat on a very fancy train and yes I chose to read this book because I knew I would be sat on said train.

I must be honest I remembered seeing this one on TV but the TV version is nowhere near as good as the book. The TV versions just never get Poirot right or should I say Papa Poirot! 

Christie starts to set the scene with Van Aldin getting the renowned rubies and giving them to his daughter Ruth Kettering. Once Ruth gets on to the Blue train things soon take a sinister turn. Ruth is found dead in her cabin with her head so badly smashed in she is unrecognisable and the rubies are gone. Then Poirot appears on the scene to help the French police solve the crime because as he happily tells people he is possibly the greatest detective in the world. 

As the story progresses there are a lot of red herrings that the reader and Poirot have to work through and with this story Poirot doesn’t have his usual Hastings to rely on and bounce ideas off. However, Poirot does find a new sidekick to help him solve the crime. Miss Grey has been a companion most of her adult life and now she has come into a fortune she is free and wants her life to start so she leaves the quiet little village of St Mary Mead and goes on the Blue Train to start her first adventure. Poirot befriends Miss Grey and they work together to get the answers they need. 

I really enjoyed how this story developed and how Poirot worked through all the clues and also used some careful guesswork to get the answers he needed. All this builds up to the very dramatic ending which has you sitting at the edge of your seat. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of Miss Grey as I really liked her character but I really enjoyed how she and Poirot interacted. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and could not put it down so I give it the full 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

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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.)

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.

Etsy

Lyra’s Pawsome Books #4

Hello!

I have been busy with Lyra’s Pawsome Books over the last couple of weeks. I have a Christmas stall next week to get ready for and of course I am busy making sure I have plenty of stock for my Etsy site. I know I am still in the very early stages of my little business but I am really enjoying thinking up ideas for products and putting them on my Etsy site.

I have started working on developing Christmas and Birthday cards which I hope to release in the next few days and I am finding the making of the cards and wrapping of the books quite therapeutic in an evening.

Anyway, here are the latest products on my Etsy site.

Christmas Book Box

This book box was inspired by some of the things that I love at Christmas. I love curling up with a Christmas themed book and a mug of mulled wine near Christmas and perhaps some chocolate to snack on later. I also love a Christmas candle and hot chocolate in the evening.

Cat Lover’s Book Box

Each box contains:

– Brand new paperback book (genre of your choice)
– Cat themed puzzle book
– Dancing Cat pen holder
– Bookmark
– Dreamies (flavours vary)
– Hot chocolate spoon
– Tea bag
– Coffee bag
– Popcorn
– Lotus biscuit
– Border biscuits (flavours vary)
– Cat shaped post it notes (colours vary)
– Black biro

This book box was obviously inspired by Lyra. There are lots of cat themed goodies within this box including a bag of Dreamies for your feline friend. My personal favourite item is the Dancing Cat pen holder and I must admit I have had to stop my husband from pinching them for himself. A percentage of the proceeds from these box sales is also going to Lyra’s favourite charity which is Cats Protection.

Happy Reading

WWW Wednesday: 16/11/2022

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 having another busy week and don’t even get my day off tomorrow but hopefully I will get some reading time in this week.

What I am Currently Reading

What I am Currently Reading

Sadly, nothing has been finished this week.

What I Think I will Read Next

It isn’t looking good for my plan to read loads of books off this list this month as I just seem to be too tired all the time.

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

Happy Reading

Etsy

Top 5 Tuesday: Books Set in the Future

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

Hello!

I love this weeks topic because I do like a book set in the future as generally they are Sci-fi books and I love Sci-fi.

  1. Worst Martian Playlist by Corriea Garrett – I read this book in one sitting and I absolutely loved it. In fact I now want to reread it. It was a random find for me from a post I saw on a fellow bloggers site and I am so glad I found it.
  2. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir – Andy Weir is definitely one of my favourite authors and I just find his books keep getting better and better. I love the characters he creates.
  3. Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey – I include all of The Expanse series here because I just love the series. It is probably my favourite Sci-fi series.
  4. The Martian by Andy Weir – I love this Book!
  5. The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex – I saw the film of this first and loved it and for our first Easter together my husband bought me the book to read.

I could have chosen a lot more books but I went for my favourites. What are your favourite books that are set in the future?

Please drop me a link if you have taken part in Top 5 Tuesday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

Etsy

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a great weekend. Here is what I have been up to on the blog.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I’m really enjoying these two books and I am enjoying the difference between fiction and non-fiction.

Happy Reading

Etsy

Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy (Review)

Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy 

Blurb

Under the Greenwood Tree is Hardy’s most bright, confident and optimistic novel. This delightful portrayal of a picturesque rural society, tinged with gentle humour and quiet irony, established Hardy as a writer.

However, the novel is not merely a charming rural idyll. The double-plot, in which the love story of Dick Dewey and Fancy Day is inter-related with a tragic chapter in the history of Mellstock Choir, hints at the poignant disappearance of a long-lived and highly-valued traditional way of life.

Review

Thomas Hardy is one of my favourite authors and I am hoping to one day manage to read all of his novels. This book had been sat on my TBR pile for way too long so I decided it was high time to read this book. 

To start with I absolutely loved this book and could not put it down. I think what drew me into this book so much was the church musicians. As a church organist and a musician myself I found the church musicians fascinating and I also found it sad as the church traditions were slowly being eroded away by a forward thinking vicar who is not quite so considerate of his congregation but is very happy to blame the church wardens for his decisions. Having recently read Scenes of Clerical Life by George Eliot I found quite a few parallels between the two books. 

I also loved how the church band are very anti clarinets and clarinet players. As a reluctant clarinet player myself I found this hilarious! I also loved how they use Dumbledore as an insult, turns out Dumbledore doesn’t just mean bumblebee. 

The other plot in this book is the love story of Dick and Fancy. Dick is a hard working lad who falls instantly head over heels for Fancy and in that moment decides to make himself worthy of her. In all honesty Fancy is not worthy of Dick, she is clearly very spoiled and quite frankly vain and shallow. Dick on the other hand will walk for miles in the rain to be a pallbearer for a friend’s funeral, Dick will go out of his way to help people and is honest and kind hearted. 

I struggled after a while with this book. I disliked Fancy’s character which didn’t help because I really wanted people to see her true character. I also struggled with the local dialect. Having to constantly read the local dialect slowed things down for me and made reading a bit of a hard slog. Overall, I liked the plot line of the church musicians, although I did find it sad but the storyline of Dick and Fancy I could have happily done without. I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons. 

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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.)

About the author

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot. He was highly critical of much in Victorian society, especially on the declining status of rural people in Britain.

Etsy