Christmas Reading List: Update

I have slowed down on the Christmas reading in the past week, this has been due to work and getting ready for Christmas. Being a musician at Christmas is always rather busy and I have been here there and everywhere recently. However, I now have no teaching till January 2020 and I have just two church services to play for tomorrow and then I am finished!

Here is the updated list!

Christmas Reading List (The crossed out ones are links to the reviews)

 

A Very Murderous Christmas by various authors

The Night I Met Father Christmas by Ben Miller

Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye

A Very Country Christmas by Zara Stonely

A Literary Christmas: An Anthology

Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles by Phillipa Ashley

Festive Spirits by Kate Atkinson

Tidings by Ruth Padel

Murder at Christmas by various authors

The Nutcracker by E.T.A Hoffmann

Christmas at Woolworths by Elaine Everest

Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay

Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights by Carole Matthews

The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton

One Day in Winter by Shari Low

 

As you can see only two books have been ticked off the list this time. Maybe now things are calming down I can enjoy some much needed reading.

How is everyone else’s Festive reading going so far? I hope everyone is ready for Christmas.

Happy Reading

 

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Tidings: A Christmas Journey by Ruth Padel (Book Review)

Tidings: A Christmas Journey by Ruth Padel

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About the author

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Ruth Padel is a prize-winning poet, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and Reader in Poetry at King’s College London. Her most recent collections include Darwin: A Life in Poems on her great-great-grandfather Charles Darwin, The Mara Crossing on migration and immigration, and Learning to Make an Out in Nazareth on the Middle East. She lives in London, the place where she was born.

Blurb

It’s Christmas Eve and on this enchanted night Charoum, the Angel of Silence, can speak. As night turns to day, he unfolds a resonant story of a little girl, a homeless man and a fox…

In the tradition of Charles Dickens and Dylan Thomas, Tidings takes us on a journey into the heart of Christmas, showing us celebrations down the ages and across the globe – as dawn sweeps from East Australia to Bethlehem, from London to the Statue of Liberty in New York.

This is Christmas in all its magic, reminding us that it is a time not only of good tidings, but of loneliness and longing, compassion and connection.

Beautifully illustrated and exquisitely musical, Tidings is a poem to be read out loud and cherished.

Review

Wow, what a beautiful book, I am so pleased I bought this book. This book is absolutely stunning and I think it will be become a Christmas tradition to read it every Christmas in my house. It took me less than an hour to read and I could not put it down and afterwards I could not wait to tell my husband about this beautiful book I had just finished.

This is the first work by Ruth Padel that I have ever read and it will not be my last. I loved how it used the carols from the children’s church service in the poem and it was beautifully entwined together. I also loved how reminiscent of Charles Dickens the poem’s story is, it reminds us that Christmas is not just about celebrating but also about remembering that there are people out there that do not find Christmas a time of celebration but of loneliness, hunger, fear and bad memories.

The contrast between the homeless man and the little girl is brilliant. The little girl is wondering if Father Christmas got her letter about the puppy she wants, her life is full of safety, happiness, love and wanting for nothing. The homeless man is full of memories he wishes to forget. He’s hungry, unwashed, unloved and only has one friend in the world, a little fox.

This book is beautiful and if you only want to read one festive book this year or next year I fully recommend this one. I have already been recommending it to friends and family. It is definitely a festive 5 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase Links

Waterstones

Book Depository

 

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The Nutcracker illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat (Mini Book Review)

The Nutcracker by E. T. A Hoffmann, retold by Kate Davies, illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat

Blurb

A beautifully illustrated retelling of The Nutcracker, capturing the magic of the ballet and the excitement of Christmas Eve. Join Clara and the Nutcracker Prince on a journey to the land of sweets, brought to life in a spectacular pop-up finale.

Review

Every Christmas I read a different version of The Nutcracker, this does mean I have quite a few different versions of The Nutcracker in my house now. This year’s choice is a little children’s version which is very abridged with beautiful illustrations and a stunning pop up illustration at the end.

I must admit I did miss a great deal of the story but understand why it had been shortened in such a way. The other thing I loved was how the story flowed so well, even though elements of the story were missing it did not make the story disjointed in any way.

I thoroughly enjoyed this little book and highly recommend it to children and adults. However, care needs to be taken with the pop up illustration as it is very delicate and could easily be damaged. I give this little book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase links

Book Depository

Waterstones

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Christmas Reading List: Update

Well it is beginning to look very festive in the Book Dragon house hold. Today more decorations have gone up and more sorting and tidying has also been happening. Slowly we are getting ready for Christmas. This has also meant the reading has slowed down slightly but I’m still reading my festive books and I have crossed off a few more from the list.

Christmas Reading List (The crossed out ones are links to the reviews)

 

A Very Murderous Christmas by various authors

The Night I Met Father Christmas by Ben Miller

Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye

A Very Country Christmas by Zara Stonely

A Literary Christmas: An Anthology

Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles by Phillipa Ashley

Festive Spirits by Kate Atkinson

Tidings by Ruth Padel

Murder at Christmas by various authors

The Nutcracker by E.T.A Hoffmann

Christmas at Woolworths by Elaine Everest

Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay

Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights by Carole Matthews

The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton

One Day in Winter by Shari Low

 

I will post some festive snaps later in the week.

Happy Reading

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Festive Spirits by Kate Atkinson (Review)

Festive Spirits by Kate Atkinson

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About the author

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Kate Atkinson was born in 1951 and is an English writer of novels, plays and short stories. She is the creator of the Jackson Brodie detective novels. She has won the Whitbread Book of the Year in 1995 and in 2013 and 2015 she won the Costa Book Awards.

Blurb

Three Festive Stories

Review

This was a nice short read of only 68 pages and although I read it in one sitting it can easily be dipped into.

The first story is called Lucy’s Day and it is all based on Lucy a mother of four who has given up her top career job to look after her family and in a way look after her elderly cleaner who doesn’t do much cleaning anymore and really just needs company. This is just one day in the hectic life of Lucy and out of all the chaos it shows the Christmas spirit coming through and that no matter how busy you are over Christmas you can still take time to appreciate the magic of it all.

The second story Festive Spirit was my least favourite of the three. I really hated the ending of this story, I found it disappointing and frustrating. I was hoping for so much more from this story and it just felt like a major cop out at the end.

The third story was my favourite. It showed that, for some, Christmas can be a lonely affair and also a time of bad news. However, it also showed that Christmas can be the time of contemplation and planning new beginnings. My favourite part was when Gerald was walking Dog and came along to the church; it really warmed my heart. This story was truly beautiful and it brought a little tear to my eye.

I gave this book 3 out of 5 Dragons because I just did not enjoy the second story. However, the first and third story make this book a well worth read and I highly recommend it.

Purchase Links

Book Depository

Waterstones

 

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WWW Wednesday: 11th December 2019

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and a 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?

 

It’s that time again! I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I myself have been busy reading and thoroughly enjoying it, although I really do need to get back into studying, it has been nice to have a little break after my assignment hand in.

 

What I am currently reading

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I have literally just started this so can’t really say much about it so far. I hope it proves to be good.

 

What I recently finished reading

 

It has been a busy week on the reading front, I really enjoyed all three of these books and reviews will shortly follow. My favourite out of the three was probably A Very Country Christmas.

 

What I think I will read next

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Looking forward to this book and I have been desperate to read it but wanted to leave it till it was closer to Christmas. I can’t wait any longer though!

 

So that is another WWW Wednesday! Please drop me a comment with your thoughts and your WWW Wednesday links!

Happy Reading!

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Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay (Review)

Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay

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About the author

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Adam Kay is an award-winning comedian and author of the million-copy bestseller This is Going to Hurt. He previously worked as a junior doctor and currently lives in London.

Blurb

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas is the hilarious, poignant and entertaining story of the life of a junior doctor at the most challenging time of the year. With twenty-five tales of intriguing, shocking and incredible Christmas incidents, the British public will finally appreciate the sacrifices made and the challenges faced by the unsung heroes of the NHS.

Review

This was a book I got on my Christmas shopping expedition to Birmingham where I went slightly wild buying Christmas books. I have not read Adam Kay’s previous book This is Going to Hurt but my best friend has and highly recommended the book to me but I started with his Christmas book instead and hope to read his first soon.

I did enjoy this book and loved the stories and it really does show how hard the NHS work and what they have to sacrifice in their lives. The other element that I liked was that Kay gave warnings about particularly harrowing stories and gave you the option to skip to the next story. I was brave and read these stories and I must admit the one nearly made me cry, I really did not realise even such a procedure existed.

This book really was an eye opener and really made me think about everyone who works for the NHS and what they have to put up with on a daily basis let alone over the holiday period. I really did feel sorry for Kay, that he had to work so many Christmas days over the years. I really think that something as special as Christmas Day should be taken in turns with staff.

The main issue I had with the book was that the comedy just felt forced and too much for me at times. I could have done with a little less comedy in the book and overall I think I would have enjoyed it a bit more. The stories in themselves were amusing and unbelievable in most cases they did not need Kay’s extra layer of comedy on the top.

I did enjoy the book and recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about working in the NHS and what an employee in NHS has to put up with. The book is only short and will not take long to read and you can easily dip in and out of it. I rate this book 3 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase Links

Waterstones

Book Depository

 

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