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.

Christmas Reading List 2020 Update

Hello!

I thought it was time for a Christmas reading list update. I am really racing through my Christmas books and I am thoroughly enjoying them and I have also added some extra ones into the mix as well.

I am currently reading Midwinter Murders by Agatha Christie and Christmas at Highclere by The Countess of Carnarvon.

Here are the books I have read so far…

Christmas is Murder by Val McDermid

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

The Lion Book of Christmas Poems by Sophie Piper

A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan

A Perfect Cornish Christmas by Phillipa Ashley

A Midwinter Promise by Lulu Taylor

Christmas at Woolworths by Elaine Everest

Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights by Carole Matthews

So the Christmas books I have left over are…

The Christmas reading is going really well and I can’t quite believe how quickly I am finishing books at the moment. Christmas at Highclere wasn’t originally on the reading list but I started browsing through it yesterday and I just got hooked.

Please drop me a comment with your Christmas reads as I would love to see what everyone is reading or planning to read over the festive period.

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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The Nutcracker

It’s nearly Christmas!!!

Last night I finally started The Nutcracker. I must admit I usually start this a lot earlier in December but due to being ill for a week and catching up with work and Christmas decorating, my reading has fallen a big behind but I hope I will be back on track soon.

Yesterday I had a lovely day spent with my husband and parents. It began with my husband and I performing a recital for a Christmas Tree Festival at the church my husband plays organ at. Then we came home for a quick breather, I even managed to do a bit of reading. I finished one book and read another very short book. Then we picked my parents up and went to see the new Mary Poppins film, followed by dinner out. The film was fantastic and it was wonderful to spend time with my husband and parents and not be having to rush off somewhere. It was a chance to relax, smile and share a laugh.

I have two reviews waiting to be written but I promise they will be up soon. I decided to watch Father Ted last night instead of writing reviews. Apologies but it was the first ever episode and I had never seen it before.

I hope you all have a wonderful day and are all ready for Christmas.

Lady Book Dragon.

Review 20: The Snowman by Michael Morpurgo

The Snowman (A new story inspired by the original tale by Raymond Briggs) by Michael Morpurgo and illustarted by Robin Shaw

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About the author

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Michael Morpurgo has written over 130 books, many of them award winning. His best known work is War Horse which has also been turned into a stage play and a film. In 2003 he was made Children’s Laureate. He set up a charity with his wife called Farms for City Children and in 1999 he was awarded an MBE for his charitable work. In 2017 he was awarded a Knighthood for his charitable work and literature.

About the illustrator

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Robin Shaw is an award winning animator and illustrator, he is also a director of animated commercials. He has worked closely with Raymond Briggs in the past and was part of the directing team of The Snowman and the Snowdog. In 2017 he designed a series of animated sequences for Paddington 2.

Blurb

When James wakes to see snow falling one December morning, he rushes outside to make a snowman. With coal eyes, an old green hat and scarf, and a tangerine nose, the snowman is perfect. James can hardly bear to inside that evening and leave him. But in the middle of the night, he wakes and creeps out to see his snowman again- and to his amazement, the snowman comes to life…

Review

Firstly, I have a confession, I have never read The Snowman by Raymond Briggs but I have watched it on television many, many times. I have only seen The Snowman and the Snowdog once and it almost destroyed me emotionally so I have never seen it again. So when I saw this book sat on the supermarket shelf I immediately picked it up. I was a little worried as I always fear rewrites as most of the time they are never as good as the original, but then I saw it was done by Michael Morpurgo and realised I should have no fears because the man is a genius.

I was so pleased I trusted my instincts, as the story was wonderful, another triumph by Morpurgo. The story is based around James a little boy who suffers with a stammer and who is desperate to have a friend. James lives with his parents on a farm and for Christmas his grandma is staying with them at the farm. Grandma’s favourite story to read James at bedtime is The Snowman by Raymond Briggs.

During the night James’ wish is answered and it snows and so he builds a snowman, a giant of a snowman who towers above everyone wearing a green scarf and hat with a big tangerine nose. James loves this snowman and wants to spend all day with him, he is also really proud of his new friend and is desperate for his family to meet the snowman. Finally at nighttime he leaves the snowman but then in the night something magical happens, and James is not the only one to witness the magic of the snowman.

The story is very similar to the original but with a few subtle differences but this is what makes it a different tale to stand on its own. The story is full of magic and is very respectful of the original, this is just like a sequel to the original in fact. I also loved that when Morpurgo was approached to write this story he was worried and so approached Raymond Briggs who thankfully gave his blessing. The respect that Morpurgo has for Raymond Briggs’ story is humbling and comes through in his version of The Snowman.

I loved the character of James, I felt sorry for him, happy for him and he just made me smile and think aww. I also really liked Grandma, she is a Grandma who still believes in magic. I think this is a fantastic book for children and adults and a perfect read for around Christmas. The illustrations were also beautiful and really added to the story. I hope it gets turned into an animated film, as I think it would be perfect. I gave this book 5 stars out of 5 stars.

Plus I loved the extras at the end of the story, the Christmas traditions from other countries and the perfect method for making the best snowman.

Lady Book Dragon

Christmas Planning

It has begun! My Christmas reading list has started to be developed and planned. On the 1st December I start to read Christmas related books, to get me into the festive spirit.

I have one main tradition that I started a few years ago and that is to read The Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffmann but a different copy each year. I have ordered a new copy and I’m impatiently waiting for it to arrive. I am hoping it will be as pretty as it looks on the website.

I have also ordered some Christmas related books which I will post on here as soon as they arrive. I will also be taking a trip to Waterstones at some point for Christmas present shopping and I am sure I will buy some extra Christmas books then.

Here is the beginning of my Christmas list so far:-

Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien

Five at the Office Christmas Party by Bruno Vincent.

Does anybody else have a Christmas reading tradition? I would love to hear your traditions or Christmas books you plan on reading. Please drop me a comment.

Lady Book Dragon