Happy Book Lovers Day!

Happy Book Lovers Day!

A day to put aside those phones and instead enjoy a good book. To celebrate this day I have decided to list ten of my favourite short reads which are 300 pages or less.

Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by James Norbury

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Dogs in Medieval Manuscripts by Kathleen Walker-Meikle

Women of Holy Week by Paula Gooder

The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien by Georges Simenon

Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot

Matilda by Roald Dahl

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Sappho: Poems and Fragments

Borderlands by Brian McGilloway

These are all five Dragon reads and books that I absolutely loved.

Please drop me a comment with any of your favourite short reads.

Happy Book Lovers Day!

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

Goodreads Monday: 8/08/2022

Goodreads Monday is now hosted by Budget Tales Book Club.  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 spent a lovely day working in the garden and reading. I also did a little bit of teaching which was good.

My chosen book today is one I should have no excuse to read. My husband has also never read this book but he owns many copies. Every time we go to a second hand bookshop my husband looks for The Vicar of Wakefield and if there is an old copy that is particularly nice he buys it. Hence, we have a lot of copies in the house.

Oliver Goldsmith’s hugely successful novel of 1766 remained for generations one of the most highly regarded and beloved works of eighteenth-century fiction. It depicts the fall and rise of the Primrose family, presided over by the benevolent vicar, the narrator of a fairy-tale plot of impersonation and deception, the abduction of a beautiful heroine and the machinations of an aristocratic villain. By turns comic and sentimental, the novel’s popularity owes much to its recognisable depiction of domestic life and loving family relationships.

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.)

Please drop me a comment if you have taken part in 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

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a good weekend so far. I’ve had a much better week blogging and reading so I am feeling very happy and more relaxed. I always feel more relaxed when I can get a good amount of reading in.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I was rather naughty and started Rogue Protocol today but I couldn’t resist any longer. I am reading a bit of each book everyday and absolutely loving each one.

Happy Reading

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

All Systems Red by Martha Wells (Review)

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Blurb

“As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure.”

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighbouring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

Review

I had seen so many good reviews of this book and the series that I decided I had to read it so I downloaded the first book onto my Kindle ready for my summer holidays and devoured it in one sitting. 

I found Murderbot such an endearing character in this book. Murderbot was designed and built for a purpose and that purpose is a security unit for whoever needs it. Muderbot is part machine and part organic and is built sexless so has no chosen pronoun. SecUnits which is what Murderbot is, have choice in where they go or what they do, they just have to follow orders from the humans and most importantly protect the humans. However, Murderbot is special because it has become self aware, it has hacked its governor module and now it needs to work out exactly what it is and what it is going to do. It has also downloaded a lot of media and become somewhat of a TV addict. 

Even though Murderbot is rather scornful of the humans it is there to protect, it still does anything it can to protect the humans and as the story goes on it becomes quite clear that Murderbot becomes quite attached to its humans and the humans become quite attached to Murderbot. 

When the neighbouring mission goes dark it soon becomes clear a rescue mission must take place and this worries Murderbot who knows there could be trouble but the humans say a rescue mission is needed so Murderbot follows orders. 

Murderbot is uncomfortable around humans and quite shy so it only feels comfortable when hidden behind its helmet in full armour. Without the armour and helmet Murderbot feels vulnerable around the humans. Murderbot even uses cameras to look at the humans rather than face them directly. 

I loved this story and although it is really only the length of a novella the action kicks off straight away on page 2. I loved the characters but my favourite was Murderbot, I loved seeing it grow and develop and start to work out what exactly it is and what it wants to do with its existence. As soon as I finished this book I downloaded and started to read the next book because I just could not leave Murderbot behind. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

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About the author

Martha Wells has been an SF/F writer since her first fantasy novel was published in 1993, and her work includes The Books of the Raksura series, The Death of the Necromancer, the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, The Murderbot Diaries series, media tie-ins for Star Wars, Stargate: Atlantis, and Magic: the Gathering, as well as short fiction, YA novels, and non-fiction. She has won a Nebula Award, two Hugo Awards, two Locus Awards, and her work has appeared on the Philip K. Dick Award ballot, the BSFA Award ballot, the USA Today Bestseller List, and the New York Times Bestseller List. Her books have been published in eighteen languages.

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.)

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

WWW Wednesday: 3/08/2022

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 this post finds all my fellow book Dragons well. My reading has slowed down a little this week because I have been going on some adventures.

What I am Currently Reading

I am really enjoying this book so far. I have just started the third and final story of the book and I am hoping it is as good as the first two.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

Really enjoyed this and will post the review soon.

What I Think I will Read Next

I think my next read will be Rogue Protocol because I am really missing the story. Still leaning towards smaller reads at the moment.

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

Witness by Alex Wheatle (Review)

Witness by Alex Wheatle

Blurb

Cornell is having a bad time. Kicked out of secondary school for a fight he didn’t start, he finds himself in a Pupil Referral Unit. Here he makes friends with one of the Sinclair family. You don’t mess with the Sinclairs, and when Ryan Sinclair demands Cornell comes with him to teach another student some respect, Ryan witnesses something that will change his life.

Torn between protecting his family and himself, Cornell has one hell of a decision to make.

Review

Wheatle is another new author for me and one I decided to read because I really like the Quick Reads series. 

I struggled to get into this book at first because it took me a bit to get used to reading the gang slang but once I got used to it I soon got into the book and it took me about an hour to read. 

This book deals with some very real issues and issues you don’t often read about in books but which should be highlighted more. The story was quite emotional in places and you couldn’t help feeling sympathy for all the characters because in a way Cornell and both his parents have good reasons for what they want to do. 

I will be honest the book didn’t wow me but I suspect this was due to the short length of the book. The book was excellently written though and a good read. I will definitely be checking out Wheatle’s full length books because he is a very good writer. I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons. 

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Purchase Links

Book Depository | Bookshop | 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

Alex Alphonoso Wheatle MBE (born 3 January 1963) is a British novelist, whose notable works include Brixton Rock, Crongton Knights and Cane Warriors.

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

July 2022 Wrap Up

Hello!

July has been a really good month reading wise. I must be honest going on holiday really helped.

Statistics

Books

Pages: 880

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review to follow

Pages: 115

Format Read: Kindle

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review to follow

Pages: 260

Format Read: Kindle

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review to folloow

Pages: 449

Format Read: Kindle

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review to follow

Pages: 96

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲

Review to follow

Pages: 149

Format Read: Kindle

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review to follow

Pages: 320

Format Read: Hardback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲

Review to follow

Pages: 226

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review to follow

Goodreads Challenge: 34/60

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

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good week. I am finally getting back into routine after catching Covid and it was really nice to be back playing the organ for church this morning.

Not much blogging this week but I have definitely got my blogging mojo back.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

So far I have not been able to put this down. George Eliot is fast becoming a favourite author for me.

Happy Reading

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

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell (Review)

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

Blurb

Meet Shaun Bythell, bookshop owner, bibliophile, and misanthrope extraordinaire. He lives and works in The Bookshop, Wigtown, whose crooked shelves contain anything from a sixteenth-century Bible to a first-edition Agatha Christie. A booklover’s paradise? Well, almost…

In Shaun’s honest and wryly hilarious diaries, he reveals the highs and lows of life in the book trade, as he contends with eccentric customers, bin-foraging employees, and a perennially empty till. Along the way, he’ll take you on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommend lost classics – and introduce you to the thrill of the unexpected find.

Review

I will be honest I have always rather fancied owning and running a bookshop, even though I know it would be hard work and I would probably be constantly worried about finances. However, I would be very happy to be surrounded by books all day. 

I must admit I was rather surprised by this book. I picked it up at my church which has many second hand books for sale and thought it looked good fun. What I wasn’t expecting was the wit, humour and sometimes sadness within this book. 

Bythell’s diary of his book shop adventures for one year was a real eye opener and very funny. Bythell’s shop seems to attract some very weird employees with the most eccentric being Nicky. I’m not entirely sure why Bythell put up with Nicky as she seemed more of hindrance to business rather than a help. I would not have had the patience Bythell has with Nicky or in fact half of his staff. Bythell at times seems to be the only sane one at the shop and that is saying something. 

One of the things I really liked with the diary entries was the daily updates of takings and customers. It was really interesting to see how the time of year affected the amount of customers and takings. I also really enjoyed seeing how there are certain returning customers who are clearly returning regularly and ordering random books because they are loyal to the shop and don’t want to see it go under. 

As the diary entries go on we see what a witty and humorous character Bythell is and how he clearly uses humour as his coping mechanism because without it he would clearly either cry or completely lose it with certain members of public. The element I found sad was seeing how the book trade had changed so much over the years and the damage Amazon was having on the second hand book shops. It was sad to see how the life of the second hand book shop was having to adapt to survive and even that adapting might not save it. 

Wigtown has been on my list of places to go since I was a teenager and I very nearly went with my parents but ill health had to shorten our trip sadly so Wigtown was saved for another day. After reading this book I want to go even more and will be pestering my husband for a holiday there very soon. I will definitely be reading more of Bythell’s book and I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

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Purchase Links

Book Depository | Bookshop.orgFoyles | 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 

Shaun Bythell is the owner of The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town, and also one of the organisers of the Wigtown Festival.

When not working amongst The Bookshop’s mile of shelving, Shaun’s hobbies include eavesdropping on customers, uploading book-themed re-workings of Sugarhill Gang songs to YouTube and shooting Amazon Kindles in the wild.

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

First Lines Friday: 29/07/2022

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Hello!

Apologies for the break from blogging. I just decided I needed a little break but hopefully I am back to normal blogging routine now. I started a new book today so I thought I would use it for my First Lines Friday post. Answer will be below the cat pictures.

Shipperton Church was a very different-looking building five-and-twenty years ago. To be sure, its substantial stone tower looks at you through its intelligent eye, the clock, with the friendly expression of former days; but in everything else what changes!

and the answer is…

When Scenes of Clerical Life, Eliot’s first work of fiction, first appeared in print anonymously in 1857, critics immediately hailed it for its humorous irony, the truthfulness of its presentation of the lives of ordinary men and women, and its compassionate acceptance of human weakness. The three stories that comprise the volume foreshadow Eliot’s greatest work, and an acquaintance with them is essential to a full understanding of one of the greatest English novelists.

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.)

Please drop me a comment with your First Lines Friday 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