Goodreads Monday: 27/12/2021

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 Everyone!

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and got some nice new books as presents. My chosen book today has been on my TBR for ages but until yesterday I did not own it. Now I own the whole series because I had the set for Christmas.

For more than a hundred years humans, dwarves, gnomes and elves lived together in relative peace. But times have changed, the uneasy peace is over and now the races once again fight each other – and themselves: Dwarves are killing their kinsmen, and elves are murdering humans and elves, at least those elves who are friendly to humans… Into this tumultuous time is born a child for whom the witchers of the world have been waiting.

Ciri, the granddaughter of Queen Calanthe, the Lioness of Cintra, has strange powers and a stranger destiny, for prophecy names her the Flame, one with the power to change the world – for good, or for evil… Geralt, the witcher of Rivia, has taken Ciri to the relative safety of the Witchers’ Settlement, but it soon becomes clear that Ciri isn’t like the other witchers. As the political situation grows ever dimmer and the threat of war hangs almost palpably over the land, Geralt searches for someone to train Ciri’s unique powers.

But someone else has an eye on the young girl, someone who understand exactly what the prophecy means – and exactly what Ciri’s power can do. This time Geralt may have met his match.

I can’t wait to start the series and it will most likely be one that I start in the new year.

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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Murder in Midwinter by Various Authors (Review)

Murder in Midwinter: Ten Classic Crime Stories for Christmas by Various. 

Blurb

Midwinter. As snow falls softly outside and frost sparkles on tree branches, it’s time to curl up before a roaring fire, wrap your hands around a steaming mug of mulled wine, and forget your worries for now.

But as the temperature drops outside, malice is sharpening its claws … and murder walks abroad. In these classic stories of mystery and mayhem, let ten of the great crime writers in history surprise and delight you with twists and turns as shocking as an icicle in the heart.

Featuring stories by Dorothy L. Sayers, Cyril Hare, Anthony Berkeley, Ruth Rendell, Margery Allingham, Ellis Peters … and more.

Review

I love the books from the Murderous Christmas Stories series and tend to read one every December to help put me in the festive spirit. Although I was surprised to find that this book only actually had 3 stories set at Christmas and the rest were set in the Autumn or Winter months, but I suppose it is called Murder in Midwinter rather than Murder at Christmas.

I enjoyed all but one of the stories but my favourites were The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet by Arthur Conan Doyle and Rumpole and the Health Farm Murder by John Mortimer. Rumpole was a brilliant character and made me laugh a great deal, he is set in his ways and no matter how much his wife tries he will not change. Sherlock was up to his usual fantastic deductions in The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet. 

There was only one story in the book that I was not keen on which was the first one in the book The Queen’s Square by Sayers. I really did not get into it and found the relentless costume descriptions rather boring. However, thankfully I did not let the story put me off the rest of the book because the rest of the stories were excellent. 

Overall, I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons because to be honest Rumpole and the Health Farm deserves 5 Dragons all to itself because I enjoyed it so much. 

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

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.)

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

WWW Wednesday: 22/12/2021

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 and that everyone is prepared for Christmas. I still have presents to wrap and the house is still chaos but hopefully now I have finished teaching I will be able to get everything ready.

What I am Currently Reading

Just started this today. I always read The Nutcracker on the run up to Christmas and I am really looking forward to reading this edition.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

I forgot how much I love A Christmas Carol. I think 2022 I will be reading more Dickens because I really do enjoy his work.

What I Think I will Read Next

I am still on my Christmas reading list as I am really enjoying all the festive reads.

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

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I hope everyone is well. I have an outdoor Carol service later where I will be playing keyboard and I must admit I am not looking forward to how cold it will be. I am one of these people who is always cold.

Anyway, here is my update for all things blog related for this week.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I will be honest I am not getting on very well with this book but I will persevere and probably read another Christmas book alongside it.

Happy Reading.

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

This and That Thursday

Hello

Over the last few weeks we have been trying to get some adventures in before Christmas. Christmas is always a busy time for us work wise so it is always nice to have a little break before the madness starts.

Lantern Show

We went to a lantern show near us which was absolutely amazing and great fun.

Carol Train

We went with family on a steam train for a Christmas evening which involved carol singing, mulled wine, Christmas decorations and festive fun. It was really nice to spend time with family and I love going on a steam train.

Bath

We usually go to Bath over the New Year but because of work commitments it wasn’t possible this time so we went this week instead. I love Bath and I really missed not going last year. I was really happy to visit Toppings’ new location and to visit the new Persephone Books that has opened. I also visited Mr B’s Emporium which has really changed since we last saw it. It wasn’t all bookshops though, we also went to the Rossetti exhibition at the Holburne Museum and the Fashion Museum in the Assembly Rooms. I really did not want to leave but I have a big list of places I want to visit next.

The rest of our time has been taken up with Christmas decorations and work. Here are a few snaps of the Christmas decorations.

Happy Reading

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

WWW Wednesday: 15/12/2021

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 well and having a good week so far. I will be honest I have been away for a few days and have gone on another book splurge which I will tell you more about later in the week.

Anyway, here is how my reading has gone this week.

What I am Currently Reading

I have just been reading this so far this week and I have given my other books a rest.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

Absolutely loved this book! Review

What I Think I will Read Next

I have a lot of Christmas books to read so it will definitely be a Christmas book of some kind that I will read.

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

Christmas for Beginners by Carole Matthews (Review)

Christmas for Beginners by Carole Matthews

Blurb

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Christmas is fast approaching at the new Hope Farm. Owner Molly Baker has been convinced to organise an open day to raise some much-needed funds ahead of the New Year, but the nativity tableau is proving challenging. With anti-social sheep, awkward alpacas and a seriously sequinned Santa Claus to assemble, Molly is feeling overwhelmed, and in desperate need of some Christmas spirit…

Despite the chaos of the farm getting in the way of her event planning, Molly is looking forward to spending the holidays with boyfriend Shelby and his son, Lucas, hopeful that a happy family Christmas is exactly what they need to draw them all together. But while she is busy making plans on the farm, Shelby, it seems, has ideas of his own.

As the nativity draws near, the team are working hard to pull off a spectacular festive fete – and make sure the animals and humans remain on their best behaviour.

Will this Christmas be merry and bright… or is there more than one surprise in store for Molly and Hope Farm?

Review

I received this book as my last book from Willoughby Book Club and I was very excited when I realised it was a Christmas book. I will be honest and say that I had completely forgotten that I had read a Christmas book by Carole Matthews last year but once I realised, I knew I was in for a treat. I haven’t read the previous book in this series but I didn’t really need to as it didn’t affect my understanding of the story.

Molly runs and lives on Hope Farm with her unruly but loveable animals and Lucas who is the teenage son of her boyfriend Shelby. Shelby spends most of his time away filming as he is an actor. The farm is there for children who have problems and Molly with her business partner Bev will do anything to make these children’s a lives a little easier.

Bev has planned a big Christmas open day for the farm with a nativity and a grand light switch on by the mayor to help raise funds for the important work the farm does. Molly however is dreading it as she struggles with people and much prefers her own company and the company of her animals. Molly also panics about everything so she spend a lot of time worrying about the open day as well as what is happening in her private life.

As the open day is being planned we see how Molly and Shelby’s relationship develops and also how Molly looks after and negotiates looking after a moody teenager and helping him through his problems. I will be honest I really did not like Shelby and kept hoping that Molly would come to her senses.

My other favourite character apart from Molly was Mark the Hot Mayor as Bev likes to call him. He seemed quite different from the Mayors I have come across in the past but he was always there to help Molly with the farm no matter what the task and was an excellent role model for the children at the farm.

The real stars of the book are the dogs and the alpacas and I must be honest I felt sorry for the dogs. The dogs had very basic names like Big Dog and Little Dog, the alpacas had amazing names like Rod Stewart and Tina Turner. The antics the alpacas got up to were also hilarious.

I loved this book and read it very quickly and I really want to read the prequel in the new year. I must read more of Carole Matthews as she is such a good author and always makes me laugh. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

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

Carole Matthews born 1960 is a British author. Matthews has published 34 novels and currently lives in Milton Keynes with her husband.

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 still catching up on my book reviews but hopefully I will get up to date before Christmas.

Here is how the blog has been going this week.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I’m throughly enjoying my Christmas books and Wheel of Time combination.

Happy Reading

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

The Tenth Man by Graham Greene (Review)

The Tenth Man by Graham Greene

Blurb

In a prison in Occupied France one in every ten men is to be shot. The prisoners draw lots among themselves—and for rich lawyer Louis Chavel it seems that his whole life has been leading up to an agonising and crucial failure of nerve. Graham Greene wrote The Tenth Man in 1944, when he was under a two-year contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the manuscript lay forgotten in MGM’s archives until 1983. It was published two years later. 

Review 

This book originated from a lost manuscript of Greene’s that turned up in an MGM sale. The person who purchased the manuscript returned it to Greene and he turned it into a novel which was published in 1985. 

This is a short book but one that really packs a punch. The book begins with a prison in occupied France and the news that every tenth man is to be shot. The prisoners are left to decide amongst themselves who will be shot, so they decide to draw lots. The rich lawyer Louis Chavel’s nerve leaves him and he gives up everything to the man who will take his place. 

Janvier is the man who takes Chavel’s place so he leaves all his new wealth to his sister and mother. When Chavel finally leaves the prison he has nothing to his name but he is still drawn to life he once had and so makes his way to his old home where he finds Janvier’s sister and mother. 

The book looks at the final years of the Second World War and how even the best of men can change in dire times. It is a story of cowardice, guilt, courage, romance and much more. Those who lie are trusted and those who tell the truth are not believed, everything is turned on its head in this book. 

I must admit the ending of the book was not what I expected and came as a big shock but it did show that miracles do happen. I will be honest as much as I love Greene’s books this book did not really enthral me that much as I just did not like the character of Chavel very much so I only give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons. 

🐲🐲🐲

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

Henry Graham Greene (1904-1991) was an English writer and journalist regarded as one of the leading English novelists of the20th century.

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

WWW Wednesday: 8/12/2021

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. We have been putting our Christmas decorations up and I have started my Christmas reading.

What I am Currently Reading

I have just started Christmas for Beginners but I am hoping it will be good. I am reading a chapter a day of The Eye of the World and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

Really enjoyed both of these books. My review for Christmas with the Teashop Girls is here.

What I Think I will Read Next

The Christmas reading continues.

Please drop me a comment if you have taken part in 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