Mid Week Quote: Benjamin Franklin

Happy Wednesday!

I am continuing with my Christmas theme for my quotes and this week I have chosen Benjamin Franklin.

A good conscience is a continual Christmas.

Benjamin Franklin

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

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham (Review)

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

Blurb

Imagine a year without Christmas.

No crowded shops, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether.

Theirs will be the only house on the street without a rooftop Frosty the snowman; they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash; they aren’t even going to have a tree. They won’t need one, because come December 25 they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But, as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences – and isn’t half as easy as they’d imagined. 

Review

The first Christmas movie I watched this year was Christmas with the Kranks and I loved it! Then my best friend told me that it was based on the book Skipping Christmas so I immediately went on to Waterstones and ordered myself a copy. Thankfully I was not disappointed.

The first thing I noticed was how faithful the movie is to the book and that was really good as I always hate it when the movie is so far from the book. Luther and Nora are husband and wife who are about to spend their first Christmas without their daughter but Luther wants to celebrate Christmas differently this year. When Luther thinks of Christmas he just sees expense and mobs of people so he decides this year Nora and himself will skip Christmas and go for a cruise instead.

Nora loves Christmas. She loves the decorations, the parties, the present buying absolutely everything but Luther persuades her this year they will go on a cruise and through the book you can see how Nora is affected by the lack of Christmas traditions in her life. Nora is a typical housewife who spends all her time dashing from one charity thing to the next, who is always helping the needy and making sure everything at home is just right.

Luther however is always counting the money and to be honest is a really selfish character and he really got on my nerves at times and I must admit this does come across in the film but the film had more of a comic element to offset the selfish behaviour. I really felt sorry for Nora having to deal with Luther through all of this but I was pleased he got his comeuppance and everyone was happy.

The other characters who were my favourites were Spike and Ned Frohmeyer. Spike was a real character and Ned was the typical nosy neighbour but there for anybody in need and always trying to bring the street together to be the best they can be.

At just under 200 pages this book took no time at all to read and was a good light-hearted quick read that made me laugh. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons and highly recommend it to anybody who wants a funny read over the festive period.

🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Amazon | 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

John Grisham (1955) is an American novelist, attorney, politician and activist. He is best known for his legal thrillers.

Christmas at Woolworths by Elaine Everest (Review)

Christmas at Woolworths by Elaine Everest

Blurb

Even though there was a war on, the Woolworths girls brought Christmas cheer to their customers

Best friends Sarah, Maisie and Freda are brought together by their jobs at Woolworths. With their loved ones away on the front line, their bonds of friendship strengthen each day. Betty Billington is the manager at Woolworths, and a rock for the girls, having given up on love . . . Until a mysterious stranger turns up one day – could he reignite a spark in Betty?

As the year draws to a close, and Christmas approaches, the girls must rely on each other to navigate the dark days that lie ahead . . .

With so much change, can their friendship survive the war?

Review

I picked up this book before Christmas last year from a book stall at a Christmas fair but I never got around to reading so it was added to my Christmas list for this year and finally I have managed to read it.

I will be honest I struggled at the beginning of this book and I wasn’t entirely sure I would continue reading it but thankfully I carried on as I could see it was going to be a good story. The reason I struggled was due to Everest’s writing style, when there are a lot  of characters all talking Everest doesn’t make it very clear who is saying what and in several instances there aren’t even quotation marks to show there is a dialogue going on which really put me off. However, once I got used to it I soon got into the story.

My favourite character of the book is Ruby who is Sarah’s grandmother. Ruby looks after everyone and includes everyone as family even people she has just met. If she sees they need help she is there doing whatever needs to be done. She is also a big believer that any problem can be solved with tea and is regularly making a brew.

Freda is a wonderful character who I really felt for as she seems to get the worst luck in this book but bless her all she wants to do is do her part for the war effort and keep on going. Sarah who is married to a Spitfire pilot and has a baby daughter is also the same and happily goes the extra mile for anybody in need. 

I will be honest I would have loved a bit more about Betty because she was a fantastic character that I really wanted to see more of. Betty is a leader and a strong woman who is a true friend to Sarah, Maisie and Freda. 

This book is detailing the run up to Christmas through these friends’ lives and it is beautiful and really enjoyable. I absolutely loved the story and the excessive use of tea because as a massive tea drinker myself I believe that tea solves most problems. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons just because I struggled with Everest’s writing style but I do intend on reading the rest of the series.

🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Amazon

(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

Elaine Everest was born and brought up in northwest Kent and has written widely – both short stories and features – for women’s magazines. When she isn’t writing, Everest runs The Write Place creative writing school in Dartford Kent, and the blog for Romantic Novelists’ Association. 

Christmas Reading List 2020 Update

Hello!

I thought a little update was required. I have now read 3 of my Christmas books on my list and I have ordered more which was very naughty of me but I just couldn’t help myself.

So here are the books I have read and I will be honest I absolutely loved and they have really helped me get into the festive spirit.

A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan

A Perfect Cornish Christmas by Phillipa Ashley

A Midwinter Promise by Lulu Taylor

Here are the books I have left to read and I know I will never get through them all but I live in hope and my Goodreads challenge is falling behind so I am hoping my Christmas reading will help me catch up.

So there is my current Christmas Reading list. Please drop me a comment if you want to chat about any of these books.

Happy Reading

WWW Wednesday: 2/12/2020

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?

Another Wednesday has arrived and I am definitely in the Christmas reading mode. So here is how my reading is going.

What I am Currently Reading

I’m loving my little poem book. Christmas at Woolworths is rather confusing at the moment because Everest’s writing style is rather all over the place and its all rather hectic trying to work out who said what.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

Loved both of these books and I was really pleased to discover a new author, Sarah Morgan who I will definitely be reading more of. Here are the reviews A Perfect Cornish Christmas and A Wedding in December.

What I think I will Read Next

It will be one of these as it is all Christmas books in December and I have loads of them to read. I just need to make sure I don’t buy anymore!

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

Happy Reading!

Christmas Reading List 2020

Hello!

So today we ordered our Christmas tree, we usually have a real Christmas tree but this year due to my husband and myself both actually been allergic to Christmas trees we have gone for an artificial one. I can’t wait for it to arrive!

We also watched the Christmas light switch on of our town online and drank mulled wine today, so I thought it is high time I got my Christmas reading list sorted. I usually get my Christmas books from Waterstones when we go to our annual Birmingham German Market trip but that is cancelled this year so I have had to do my Christmas book shopping online which is really not the same.

Anyway, in no particular order here is my list.

Ten books in total and knowing me I might add more. I know I won’t get around to reading them all but I do like having a variety to choose from. I’m particularly looking forward to my new version of The Nutcracker as I read a new version every year. I have had a sneaky look at the illustrations already and it does look very pretty.

Please let me know your thoughts if you have read any of these Christmas books and please feel free to recommend some more Christmas reads to me. The more the merrier!

Happy Reading!

Twelve Carols of Christmas: Twelfth Carol

The final carol has arrived!

There is in my opinion only one carol and that has to be We Three Kings by Edward John Hopkins (1818-1901)

This carol is a personal favourite of mine and I remember absolutely loving this carol as a child. It was also the first Christmas carol that I could play off by heart on the flute. I think I drove my parents crazy playing it over and over again.

 

We three kings of Orient are

We three kings of Orient are,

bearing gifts we traverse afar

field and fountain, moor and mountain,

following yonder star:

 

O star of wonder, star of night,

star with royal beauty bright,

westward leading, still proceeding,

guide us to thy perfect light.

 

Born a king on Bethlehem plain,

gold I bring to crown him again,

king for ever, ceasing never

over us all to reign:

 

Frankincense to offer have I,

incense owns a deity night;

prayer and praising, all men raising,

worship him, God most high:

 

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume

breathes a life of gathering gloom;

sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,

sealed in the stone-cold tomb:

 

Glorious now behold him arise,

king and God and sacrifice.

Heaven sings: “Alleluia’;

‘Alleluia,’ the earth replies:

 

Edward John Hopkins

 

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Twelve Carols of Christmas: Tenth Carol

Today I have chosen my all time favourite carol but it has to be to the tune by Gustav Holst!

It is by my all time favourite poet Christina Rossetti.

 

In the Bleak Midwinter

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan;
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain,
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty —
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom Cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom Angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and Archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air;
But only His Mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am? —
If I were a Shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part, —
Yet what I can I give Him, —
Give my heart.

 

Christina Rossetti

 

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