First Lines Friday: 23/09/2022

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!

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has had a good week so far. I thought it was high time I took part in First Lines Friday again. As usual the answer is below the cat pictures.

I went to the dance with Thomas Toofat. It’s Toogood really, but he is too fat, with frizzy hair and flat feet. We never meant to let him know we call him that, but the week before, at the Turners’ picnic, Sally said without thinking, ‘And this is Thomas Toofat…’ Oh, it was utterly withering.

Get guessing

Midsummer Night in the Workhouse by Diana Athill

“I can remember in detail being hit by my first story one January morning in 1958.” So begins literary legend Diana Athill in the preface to Midsummer Night in the Workhouse, a long-overdue collection of her short fiction, originally published in the 1950s to the 1970s.

In unsentimental though often touching prose, Athill’s young women anticipate, enjoy, or just miss out on brief sexual encounters with men met on trains, at parties — just about anywhere they can. A cheating wife, back with her boring husband, is wracked with agonizing love for the unavailable partner of her brief fling; a writer seeks inspiration at a writers’ retreat whilst avoiding the group seducer’s invitation; a wife’s party flirtations propel her possessive husband into another woman’s bed; two fun-loving women face a sinister sexual assault during a Greek holiday; a teenager experiences enraptured detachment during her first kiss.

Beautifully written, perceptive, touching, and funny, Midsummer Night in the Workhouse is Diana Athill at her best.

Did anybody guess correctly?

Please drop me a comment with your First Line Friday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

Etsy

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Mid Week Quote: Neil Gaiman

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I’m not getting much reading done at the moment which is shame but I’m hoping that will improve soon.

My chosen quote this week is about cats. When I saw it I thought it was perfect because I can’t get Lyra our calico to behave at all.

“I would like to see anyone, prophet, king or God, convince a thousand cats to do the same thing at the same time.” 

Neil Gaiman

Happy Reading

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Star Trek Discovery: The Book of Grudge by Robb Pearlman (Review)

Star Trek Discovery: The Book of Grudge by Robb Pearlman

Blurb

New York Times bestselling author Robb Pearlman focuses on STAR TREK: DISCOVERY’s breakout star, Grudge the cat. Full of cat photos and whimsical illustrations!

Sharper than a claw and more stunning than a phaser blast, The Book of Grudge’s Prime Directive features her take on everything from space travel to the proper care and training of an array of alien species, STAR TREK-inspired quotes, and haiku meditations on Grudge’s most favourite things, including napping and people (as long as they’re far enough away).

Make no mistake, Cleveland Booker’s massive – and massively cool – cat, Grudge is no mundane mouser. This taciturn tabby is, in fact, “a Queen.” She knows it, and everyone aboard the Discovery knows it, too… though some realise it just a bit too late!

Review

This book was my cat’s chosen Christmas present for my husband but sadly it did not arrive till late January. It was ok though as the cat got my husband another present and my husband ended up with an extra present. This also meant I had to be patient and wait for my husband to read it first. Thankfully this little book was worth the wait. 

Grudge was a firm favourite of mine whilst watching Star Trek Discovery and I must admit I had hoped to have seen more of her on screen. You can imagine my excitement when I heard she had a book! 

The book is made up of photos and illustrations of Grudge on her own and with members of the crew of Discovery and most importantly Grudge’s views and opinions which have kindly been written down by Robb Pearlman.  Grudge gives her opinions on certain members of the Discovery drew, space travel, alien species and much more. Grudge has even composed little haikus for us. 

This wonderful little book is funny and shows Grudge to be the true Queen that she is. It takes less than twenty minutes to read but is totally worth it. I highly recommend this book to all cat lovers and Star Trek fans and give this book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons. I end my review with a quote from Grudge “Cat’ plah!!!”

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

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About the author

Robb Pearlman is a pop culturalist and a #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 35 books for grown-ups and kids.

Grudge is the feline companion of Cleveland Booker and a Queen among cats.

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

Friday Poetry: T. S. Eliot

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has some good plans for the weekend.

My chosen poem for the week is from an old favourite. Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats is probably my all time favourite book of poetry, so I have chosen to share The Naming of Cats.

The Naming of Cats

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter, 
It isn't just one of your games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES. 
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily, 
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey - 
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter, 
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter - 
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum - 
Names that never belong to more than one cat. 
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover -
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation, 
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is enraged in rapt contemplation
Of the moment, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

T. S. Eliot

Happy Reading

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First Lines Friday: 28/05/2021

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!

I haven’t done one of these for ages so I thought it was high time I took part again.

So here are the opening lines of the book. Remember the answer is below the cats.

No mortal alive had ever seen a Spindle.

Echoes of them lingered, in places remembered or forgotten, in people touched by magic, in creatures descendant of other realms. But no Spindle had burned in an age. The last of them was a thousand years gone. The passages closed, the gates locked. The age of crossing ended.

Get guessing!

Have you guessed the answer?

And the answer is???

A strange darkness grows in Allward.

Even Corayne an-Amarat can feel it, tucked away in her small town at the edge of the sea.

She soon discovers the truth: She is the last of an ancient lineage—and the last hope to save the world from destruction. But she won’t be alone. Even as darkness falls, she is joined by a band of unlikely companions:

A squire, forced to choose between home and honor.
An immortal, avenging a broken promise.
An assassin, exiled and bloodthirsty.
An ancient sorceress, whose riddles hide an eerie foresight.
A forger with a secret past.
A bounty hunter with a score to settle.

Together they stand against a vicious opponent, invincible and determined to burn all kingdoms to ash, and an army unlike anything the realm has ever witnessed.

Please drop me a comment with your First Lines Friday and 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

First Line Friday: 23/04/2021

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!

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has had a good week so far. I thought I would join in with First Line Friday this week as I do enjoy guessing other people’s First Line Fridays. As usual the answer is below the cats!

I believe that a well-known anecdote exists to the effect that a young writer, determined to make the commencement of his story forcible and original enough to catch and rivet the attention of the most blase of editors, penned the following sentence:

‘”Hell!” said the Duchess.’

Strangely enough, this tale of mine opens in much the same fashion. Only the lady who gave utterance to the exclamation was not a duchess.

Get Guessing!

Any idea?

and the answer is…

The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie

Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is summoned to France after receiving a distressing letter with an urgent cry for help. Upon his arrival in Merlinville-sur-Mer, the investigator finds the man who penned the letter, the South American millionaire Monsieur Renauld, stabbed to death and his body flung into a freshly-dug, open grave on the golf course adjoining the property. Meanwhile the millionaire’s wife is found bound and gagged in her room. Apparently, it seems that Renauld and his wife were victims of a failed break-in, resulting in Renauld’s kidnapping and death.

There’s no lack of suspects: his wife, whose dagger served as the weapon, his embittered son, who would have killed for independence, and his mistress who refused to be ignored. Each felt deserving of the dead man’s fortune. The police think they’ve found the culprit. But Poirot has his doubts. Why is the dead man wearing an overcoat that is too big for him? And who was the impassioned love-letter in the coat pocket for? Before Poirot can answer these questions, the case is turned upside down by the discovery of a second, identically-murdered corpse.

Did anybody guess correctly?

Please drop me a comment with your First Line 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

First Line Friday: 19/02/2021

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!

Happy Friday!

I thought it was time to do a First Line Friday as I haven’t done one for a while. As usual the answer is below the cats. Good Luck!

As pale as a grave grub she’s an eyeful.

She looks up at him, startled, from the bed. Her pale eyes flitting fishy: intruder – lantern – door – intruder. As if she’s trying to work out how they all connect, with her eyes cauled and clouded.

get guessing!

Answer

Bridie Devine, female detective extraordinaire, is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery.

Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems.

Blending darkness and light, history and folklore, Things in Jars is a spellbinding Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale to stunning effect and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.

Did you guess successfully?

Please drop me a comment with your First Line Friday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

Mid Week Quote: James Herriot

Hello!

I hope everyone is doing well. We are in Lockdown number 3 so I thought today’s quote would be one attached to a cute picture of our cat Lyra. Lyra has taken to squeezing between my husband and myself on the sofa and finds this her absolute favourite spot at the moment so I have gone for a related quote.

Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.

James Herriot

Happy reading and stay safe.

Friday Poetry: Clare Bevan

Happy Friday!

It is time for some Christmas poetry!

I chose this poem because it is about a cat and poems about cats are always good.

Christmas Cat

I've built a cuddly snowcat
With whiskers made from straws
And I'm almost sure,
I'm almost sure
I saw him lick his paws.

He's sitting in my garden,
He's smiling at me now,
And I'm almost sure,
I'm almost sure
I heard him say, 'Mee-ow!'

Clare Bevan


Happy Reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Would Name a Pet After

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!

Another fabulous theme this week and one quite apt as my husband and I own two cats that are named after book characters.

So here is the list and first up are my cats!

Meet Lyra and Pan from His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

  1. Gandalf the Grey from The Lord of the Rings – This is my dream name for a long haired grey cat.
  2. Winnie from Winnie the Pooh – A female British Bulldog.
  3. Pilot from Jane Eyre – A male German Shepherd
  4. Holmes and Watson from Sherlock Holmes – Two male Beagles
  5. Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights – Male wire haired Dacshund
  6. Deuteronomy from The Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats – Male Maine coon cat.
  7. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice – Male or female Dalmatian
  8. Meg from Little Women – Female long haired collie
  9. Hercule from Hercule Poirot – Male Scottish Fold cat
  10. Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol – Male Tea Cup Chihuahua

So there is my pet wish list.

Please drop me link with your Top Ten Tuesday and I will head over for a visit.