Christmas Book Haul

Hello!

So this Christmas I had some books for Christmas! I had three books and they are absolutely stunning.

I collect the De Luxe Editions by Harper Collins of Tolkien’s works and my husband very kindly bought me Letters from Father Christmas to add to my collection. In fact it was my husband who started me collecting this set as he gave me The Unfinished Tales for my Christmas present for our first Christmas together.

The next two books are by the same author Charles Van Sandwyk. These two books are Folio Society editions that my in-laws very kindly gave me for Christmas and I absolutely love them especially Letters from Fairyland. The other book is a collection of stories about fairyland called How to See Fairies.

There are my beautiful books!

I really do love beautiful books and that is why I generally end up with more than one edition of a favourite book.

Happy Reading.

WWW Wednesday: 23/12/2020

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?

Happy Wednesday!

I can’t believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve! I have slowed down a little on my reading this week and have only finished the one book, but it was a good book and I have got a load of housework done instead.

What I am Currently Reading

This is my Christmas tradition and I have just started it today. Every year I buy a new edition of The Nutcracker then read it on the last few days of the run up to Christmas. I just love the story and I always enjoy reading a different translator’s take on the story and of course beautiful illustrations.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

Literally finished this, this morning so review will follow shortly. I did really enjoy it though.

What I will Read Next

This will definitely be read on Christmas Eve as it is another Christmas tradition of mine. I had this book for Christmas when I was little and now I read it every Christmas Eve. It doesn’t take long to read but it always makes me think of that magical Christmas morning when I opened this amazing book.

So there is my WWW Wednesday for this week. Please drop me a link with your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit. Also please drop me a comment if you have any Christmas reading traditions.

Christmas at Highclere by The Countess of Carnarvon (Review)

Christmas at Highclere by The Countess of Carnavon

Blurb

Highclere Castle, known as ‘the real Downton Abbey’, bustles with activity at the best of times, but it is never more alive than at Christmas. Christmas at Highclere is a look behind the scenes at the routines and rituals that make the castle the most magical place to be throughout the festive season.

Lady Carnarvon will guide you through Advent, Christmas preparations and Christmas Eve all the way through to the day itself, and beyond. Learn how the castle and grounds are transformed by decorations, including the raising of a twenty-foot tree in the saloon, the gathering of holly and mistletoe from the grounds. All the intricacies of the perfect traditional Christmas are here: from crackers and carol singers. The festive feeling is carried through to Highclere’s Boxing Day traditions, the restorative middle days and the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

This book also tells the story of historic Christmases at Highclere – of distinguished guests warming themselves by the fire after a long journeys home through the snow, unexpected knocks on the door, and, always, the joy of bringing family – and staff – together after a busy year.

As well as telling the stories of Highclere Christmases past and present, Lady Carnarvon provides recipes, tips and inspiration from her kitchen so that readers can bring a quintessentially British festive spirit to their own home. Lady Carnarvon divulges the secret to perfectly flakey mince pies, the proper way to wrap presents so that you and your guests are guaranteed a Christmas to remember.

Lavish, celebratory and utterly enchanting, Christmas at Highclere is celebration of one of the UK’s most beloved historic houses and is the perfect gift for any Downton Abbey fan.

Review

My husband and myself are massive fans of Downton Abbey and so I bought this last year for my husband’s Christmas present and it has been on the recipe book shelf waiting for Christmas to arrive. 

I picked this book up to look up some Christmas recipes as I wanted some new challenges for the Christmas season and quickly decided that I would be making the Yule log for Christmas. However, I then decided to start reading the book from the beginning and all of a sudden I was hooked and could not put it down.

I love the Countess’ writing style, she is very skilled and brings everything to life beautifully. The Countess starts with the season of Advent and how the castle prepares for the Christmas period by decorating for opening and also what preparations they make for family and friends who will be visiting over the period. The Countess then continues through the festive season until Epiphany.

This book has family history and traditions, personal anecdotes about the family’s past Christmases and then recipes peppered throughout the book all linked to the different stages of the festive period. The accompanying pictures are absolutely stunning and they really show how stunning the castle is, although my favourite pictures are of the family’s many dogs.

I absolutely loved this book and I have several recipes that I will be trying out on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. I highly recommend this book and definitely give it 5 out of 5 Dragons. I have also added the other books the Countess of Carnarvon has written to my wish list as I really want to read more of her work.

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Amazon | 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

A former auditor for Coopers & Lybrand, Lady Carnarvon is the wife of George Herbert, 8th Earl of Carnarvon. Today, she manages affairs at Highclere Castle, home of the worldwide television drama Downton Abbey, including overseeing its grounds and gardens and many special events such as the Egyptian Exhibition in the cellars of the Castle.

Fascinated by Highclere’s history, Lady Carnarvon has written four books. The first two are about the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who discovered King Tutankhamun’s tomb with Howard Carter in 1922. Her latest are New York Times Bestseller Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere, and Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey.

The Weekly Brief

Happy Sunday!

Apologies for the lateness in this post, I will be honest I got distracted making a disastrous carrot cake. Really not one of my best bakes.

Anyway, here is what I have been up to on the blog this week.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

Thoroughly enjoying this so far.

No books acquired this week as I am waiting to see what books I might get for Christmas.

I hope everyone has had a good week reading and blogging and I hope everyone has a good run up to Christmas.

Happy Reading

Jingle Bell Book Tag

Hello!

I haven’t done a festive book tag this year and have seen this one around and thought I would have a go. Please feel free to join in and drop me a comment if you have taken part as I would love to see your answers.

“All I Want For Christmas Is You…” | What book do you want to see under the Christmas Tree?

This is a tricky one because I have a lot of books that I would like to see under the Christmas tree. The one I will choose is The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb. I know it is a trilogy but it is what I want under the tree. I love Hobb and I will be honest it has been a long time since I have read any Hobb but the Folio Society edition of the trilogy looks beautiful.

“Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time…” | What book that you have read this year have you enjoyed the most?

I’ve read so many good books this year! My favourite must be The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva, this book really made me think and I thought it was brilliantly well written.

“It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” | Which book has most festive look to it?

I have read a lot of festive reads so far this December but I think the most festive I have read so far has got to be Christmas at Highclere by The Countess of Carnarvon. This put me in a really festive mood and I just could not put it down.

Elf | What book unleashes your inner child?

Easy! Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I love this book it makes me think of Christmas and magic and just all sorts of wonderful things. I have recently read the illustrated version and that made me unleash my inner child even more.

The Grinch | Your favorite villain…

My favourite literary villain is definitely Bellatrix Lestrange. Yes, she is evil and completely mad but I think she is great and I always enjoy reading her scenes in the books. I also thinks Helena Bonham Carter portrays her perfectly in the films.

The Holiday | Name your favorite TWO couples…

I know it is probably a really common answer but Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are my number one favourite couple closely followed by Sam Vimes and Lady Sybil Vimes. Sam and Sybil just work perfectly together and their relationship always makes me giggle.

What book would you like to give as a present to your followers?

Another tricky question, so I think I would like to give my followers a copy of my favourite book/trilogy. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R Tolkien but would be my gift to you all.

So there are my answers.

Happy reading.

WWW Wednesday: 16/12/2020

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 can’t believe we are back to Wednesday again, time seem to be flying by at the moment. I hope this post finds you all well and not to stressed as the festive season approaches.

So here is what I have been up to with my reading.

What I am Currently Reading

Literally just started it so not much to say so far.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

Just finished Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights yesterday and couldn’t put it down, review will follow shortly.

Christmas is Murder by Val McDermid review here.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling review here.

What I think I will Read Next

The Christmas reading list is going down and I am really surprised just how quickly I am getting through my Christmas books.

Please drop me a comment for a bookish chat and of course please leave your WWW Wednesday link and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Winter 2020-2021 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. For more info please check out Jana’s blog.

Happy Tuesday!

I have so many books on my TBR list but I will try and select ten books that I think I will read over the winter. I like to read a Jane Austen novel over the New Year and into January so that is one easy choice.

Here are my ten books…

  1. Things in Jars by Jess Kidd – This is one of my Willoughby Book Club books that I am very excited to read.
  2. Dissolution by C. J. Sansom – This is my buddy read with my bestie that I will be starting on the 1st of January
  3. The House on Vesper Sands by Paraie O’Donnell – Another Willoughby Book Club read
  4. Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline – My husband is currently reading this so I hope to read it in January once I have finished all my Christmas reading.
  5. Katheryn Howard: The Tainted Queen by Alison Weir – Been on my TBR for way too long and really want to read it soon.
  6. Lady Susan by Jane Austen – I have never actually read this so I think it is high time I sorted it.
  7. Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis – I just think this will be a good cosy read for the winter.
  8. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie – The start of reading more Agatha Christie challenge
  9. Olive, Mabel and Me by Andrew Cotter – I can’t wait to read this as I love the videos on youtube.
  10. Star Trek Discovery: Die Standing by John Jackson Miller – Another book that has been sat on my TBR for way too long.

So there is my TTT. Please drop me a link with your TTT and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading.

WWW Wednesday: 9/12/2020

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?

Happy Wednesday!

I am absolutely loving my Christmas reading at the moment and I seem to be flying through books which is brilliant.

So here is my week in books.

What I am Currently Reading

I’m just over half way through with this and sadly I have only enjoyed one story so far. I really hope it gets better.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

I enjoyed all of these books and highly recommend them. I’ve only reviewed two of them so far, so here are the links: Skipping Christmas | Christmas at Woolworths.

What I Think I will Read Next

My Christmas reading list this December is above so it will be one of these books but not sure which. As usual it all depends on my mood.

So there is my WWW Wednesday! Please drop me a comment if you want a chat and of course please drop me the link to your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit.

Top Ten Tuesday: The Nutcracker

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. For more info please check out Jana’s blog.

Hello!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie but with a wintry festive feel. With this in mind I thought I would go for different copies of The Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffmann. Every December I read a different version of The Nutcracker. This can be translated by different people or just a different edition but my favourites are always the ones with pretty illustrations or like last year a pop up book!

So here we go…

First up is the one I have ready to read this year, the illustrations look really nice so I am looking forward to reading it.

This was last year’s read and I must admit I got very excited when I discovered it. It is absolutely stunning and I highly recommend it.

This is another beautiful edition but it is big so not easy to read for too long. This was 2018’s Christmas read.

I have the full set of these little Christmas books and I absolutely love them. This one was 2017’s.

Now you might notice this isn’t actually by Hoffmann but it is the story but it is Dumas’ adaptation and this is also the start of my tradition. I bought this when I went to the German Market in Birmingham with my then future husband and we took a trip to Waterstones and I picked this up and then read it through December 2016.

These next ones are future editions that I would one day like to buy and read.

So there is my Top Ten Tuesday and one of my Christmas traditions. Have you got any Christmas book traditions? Please drop me link to your Top Ten Tuesday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

The Weekly Brief

Happy Sunday!

Another week has gone by and I must admit I am thoroughly enjoying all my Christmas reading. I find Christmas books go particularly well with hot chocolate, a warm blanket and Christmas decorations in the background.

Here is what I have been up to in the blog this week.

Posts this Week

Books I am Currently Reading

Books Acquired this Week

So there is my week and yes I know I said no more buying Christmas books but I just couldn’t help myself! I will try to do better and not buy anymore… I really will try.

Happy Reading!