Goodreads Monday: 29/03/2021

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.

Happy Monday!

I am actually teaching this morning, I don’t usually teach on a Monday, so this will make a nice change and it will be good to see one of my students that I haven’t seen for ages, even if it is only on Zoom.

My chosen book to feature today is actually the first book of a series that one of my friends recommended to me and one that I promptly bought but have not got around to reading but I hope to soon.

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

Please drop me a comment if you have read this book or the series, I would love to hear your thoughts. Plus please drop a link to your Goodreads Monday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading.

Goodreads Monday: 22/03/2021

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.

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone has had a good start to the week so far.

The book I have chosen for Goodreads Monday is one that I have recently bought and and is now sat on my TBR pile.

So here is the book…

The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie’s first Tommy & Tuppence book is a thrill-packed novel of international intrigue, murder and suspense.

Tommy and Tuppence, two young people short of money and restless for excitement, embark on a daring business scheme – Young Adventurers Ltd.

Their advertisement says they are ‘willing to do anything, go anywhere’. But their first assignment, for the sinister Mr Whittington, plunges them into more danger than they ever imagined…

I am trying to read all of the works of Agatha Christie in order of publication and this is the next one on the list. Hopefully, I will read it soon as I am rather excited to read my first Tommy and Tuppence book.

Please drop me a comment if you have taken part in Goodreads Monday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

Goodreads Monday: 11/01/2021

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 and happy Monday.

I have been stuck writing an assignment all day and I must admit I will be happy when this essay is done and dusted as writing about ancient Roman funeral rites is getting rather depressing.

Anyway, enough of that, it is time to choose another book off my TBR list. This week I have gone for a book that has been on my TBR list since 2015 but has just recently come back on my radar so I plan on reading it this year all being well.

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey tells the story behind Highclere Castle, the real-life inspiration and setting for Julian Fellowes’s Emmy Award-winning PBS show Downton Abbey, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon. Drawing on a rich store of materials from the archives of Highclere Castle, including diaries, letters, and photographs, the current Lady Carnarvon has written a transporting story of this fabled home on the brink of war.
    Much like her Masterpiece Classic counterpart, Lady Cora Crawley, Lady Almina was the daughter of a wealthy industrialist, Alfred de Rothschild, who married his daughter off at a young age, her dowry serving as the crucial link in the effort to preserve the Earl of Carnarvon’s ancestral home.  Throwing open the doors of Highclere Castle to tend to the wounded of World War I, Lady Almina distinguished herself as a brave and remarkable woman.
    This rich tale contrasts the splendor of Edwardian life in a great house against the backdrop of the First World War and offers an inspiring and revealing picture of the woman at the center of the history of Highclere Castle.

I read Christmas at Highclere by Lady Carnarvon just before Christmas 2020 and absolutely loved the book and really liked Lady Carnarvon’s writing style so I am excited to read this book.

Please drop me a comment if you want a chat.

Goodreads Monday: 4/01/2021

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!

Time for my first Goodreads Monday of 2021. First, I will be honest my TBR pile is huge so it is always a tricky decision which book to choose. I’ve seen some fab reviews of my chosen book so I definitely plan on reading it this year.

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed–again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend–but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

Deeply atmospheric and ingeniously plotted, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original debut that will appeal to fans of Kate Atkinson and Agatha Christie.

Also titled as The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.

Now I will be honest I am not keen on TV programmes or films that do the whole repeating time thing, so I will wait and see whether I will enjoy reading something with the same storyline.

So that is my Goodreads Monday. Please drop me a comment if you have also taken part in Goodreads Monday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading.

Goodreads Monday: 28/09/2020

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.

 

This is the first time I have taken part in Goodreads Monday so here is a book I have chosen at random off my TBR list.

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The Doll Factory, the debut novel by Elizabeth Macneal, is an intoxicating story of art, obsession and possession.

London. 1850. The Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and among the crowd watching the spectacle two people meet. For Iris, an aspiring artist, it is the encounter of a moment – forgotten seconds later, but for Silas, a collector entranced by the strange and beautiful, that meeting marks a new beginning.

When Iris is asked to model for pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint. Suddenly her world begins to expand, to become a place of art and love.

But Silas has only thought of one thing since their meeting, and his obsession is darkening . . .

 

Drop me a comment if you have read it and drop me a link with your Goodreads Monday and I will check out your post.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Added to my TBR and Forgotten Why

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.

This is a perfect subject for me because my TBR list is full of books I can’t remember why I added them. This will be hard to just choose ten so I have gone for authors I have never read before or indeed heard of before! I really can’t even remember adding these books to honest.

 

Penelope’s Daughter by Laurel Corona

With or Without Pulp by Michael J. Elsey

Grave Robbers by Sherry Allred

Apricots and Wolfsbane by K. M. Pohlkamp

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

White Lady by Jessica Bell

The Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie Anne Noble

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Almost Midnight by Rainbow Powell

 

 

So that is my chosen ten. Please drop me a comment with the link to your Top Ten Tuesday and I will head over for a visit.

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Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge: Reflection

Summer is officially over so I thought it high time to reflect on my Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge. Sadly I did not complete it but I did learn a few things. Here is the result.

Good as gold:- The Casual Vacancy by J. K Rowling

The Book is Better:- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

On the bandwagon:- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood

Short and sweet:- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Actually want to read:- Jaws by Peter Benchley

Not from around here:- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

In a friend zone:- The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Wheel of format:- Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Past love:- Matilda by Roald Dahl

Armchair Traveler:- A Room with a View by E. M. Forster

 

First of all I spent way too much time on a book I really regret reading which was The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, I really wish I had just stopped reading it because I did not enjoy it and wasted a great deal of my free time reading a book I found tiresome. This is a lesson I keep telling myself to learn from but sadly I don’t, maybe this time I will.

The second thing I learned was I hated having a reading list! I want to read these books eventually and I had options but I found myself regretting the choices and wanting to read other books which I did and so did not complete the challenge in the allotted time. I think from now on I will avoid challenges and just choose whatever I want to read when I want because I really did not enjoy the challenge. I loved choosing the books but not feeling like I had to read them.

However, doing the challenge has taken a few books off my enormous TBR list, so it wasn’t all bad.

 

What does everyone think of reading challenges? Yes or No? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy reading.

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Down the TBR Hole #15

Down the TBR Hole was the brain child of Lost In A Story. The idea is to reduce the length of your Goodreads TBR.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads want to read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 or 10 books.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go

 

Time for another sort through the TBR list as I have added a few books recently so I should get rid of some as well.

 

1. An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott

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It was first serialised in the Merry’s Museum magazine between July and August in 1869 and consisted of only six chapters. For the finished product, however, Alcott continued the story from the chapter “Six Years Afterwards” and so it ended up with nineteen chapters in all. The book revolves around Polly Milton, the old-fashioned girl who titles the story. Polly visits her wealthy friend Fanny Shaw in the city and is overwhelmed by the fashionable and urban life they live–but also left out because of her “countrified” manners and outdated clothes.

 

 

I love Little Women, Jo’s Boys and Little Wives and I would love to read more of Alcott’s work so this stays on the list.

KEEP

 

2. Can you Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope

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Alice Vavasor cannot decide whether to marry her ambitious but violent cousin George or the upright and gentlemanly John Grey – and finds herself accepting and rejecting each of them in turn.

Increasingly confused about her own feelings and unable to forgive herself for such vacillation, her situation is contrasted with that of her friend Lady Glencora – forced to marry the rising politician Plantagenet Palliser in order to prevent the worthless Burgo Fitzgerald from wasting her vast fortune.

In asking his readers to pardon Alice for her transgression of the Victorian moral code, Trollope created a telling and wide-ranging account of the social world of his day.

To be honest I have a lot of Trollope on my TBR list so I think I will remove this one incase my TBR list becomes mainly books by Trollope as he did write a lot of books.

GO

 

3. Jonny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett

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Sell the cemetery?

Over their dead bodies . . .

Not many people can see the dead (not many would want to). Twelve-year-old Johnny Maxwell can. And he’s got bad news for them: the council want to sell the cemetery as a building site. But the dead have learnt a thing or two from Johnny. They’re not going to take it lying down . . . especially since it’s Halloween tomorrow.

Besides, they’re beginning to find that life is a lot more fun than it was when they were . . . well . . . alive. Particularly if they break a few rules . . .

 

 

Well it is a Terry Pratchett book so it stays put and that is final.

KEEP

 

4. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

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Far from the Madding Crowd was Thomas Hardy’s first major literary success, and it edited with an introduction and notes by Rosemarie Morgan and Shannon Russell in Penguin Classics.

Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. The first of his works set in the fictional county of Wessex, Hardy’s novel of swift passion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships.

I own several copies of this book because I just cannot resist pretty book covers so I really should read it.

KEEP

 

5. Lady Susan/ The Watsons/ Sanditon by Jane Austen

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Together, these three works – one novel unpublished in her lifetime and two unfinished fragments – reveal Jane Austen’s development as a great artist.

Lady Susan, with its wicked, beautiful, intelligent and energetic heroine, is a sparkling melodrama which takes its tone from the outspoken and robust eighteen century. Written later, and probably abandoned after her father’s death, The Watsons is a tantalizing and highly delightful story whose vitality and optimism centre on the marital prospects of the Watson sisters in a small provincial town. Sanditon, Jane Austen’s last fiction, is set in a seaside town and its themes concern the new speculative consumer society and foreshadow the great social upheavals of the Industrial Revolution.

This is the only book I have not read by Austen so it will stay on the list as well.

KEEP

 

Just five books today and only one off the list but that does mean the TBR is one book shorter. I know, I know I must try harder. Next time I will do ten books I promise.

Happy Reading.

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Down the TBR Hole #14

Down the TBR Hole was the brain child of Lost In A Story. The idea is to reduce the length of your Goodreads TBR.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads want to read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 or 10 books.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go

 

Hello everyone

I hope everyone is enjoying the glorious weather we have been having. This was meant to be yesterdays post, so apologies for the delay.

The total is at 471!

 

1. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

I own the complete set of these books and have been planning on reading them for a very long time. Maybe I should get a move on and at least read the first one in the series.

KEEP

 

2. The Scarlett Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

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Armed with only his wits and his cunning, one man recklessly defies the French revolutionaries and rescues scores of innocent men, women, and children from the deadly guillotine. His friends and foes know him only as the Scarlet Pimpernel. But the ruthless French agent Chauvelin is sworn to discover his identity and to hunt him down.

 

 

 

 

I have fond memories of watching ‘The Scarlett Pimpernel’ on TV when I was little, I think Richard E. Grant played the famous Pimpernel. This will definitely stay on the list as I would really like to read it.

KEEP

 

3. The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck

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Ethan Allen Hawley, the protagonist of Steinbeck’s last novel, works as a clerk in a grocery store that his family once owned. With Ethan no longer a member of Long Island’s aristocratic class, his wife is restless, and his teenage children are hungry for the tantalizing material comforts he cannot provide. Then one day, in a moment of moral crisis, Ethan decides to take a holiday from his own scrupulous standards.

Set in Steinbeck’s contemporary 1960 America, the novel explores the tenuous line between private and public honesty that today ranks it alongside his most acclaimed works of penetrating insight into the American condition. This edition features an introduction and notes by Steinbeck scholar Susan Shillinglaw.

I’ve only read two of Steinbeck’s book and although I loved ‘Of Mice and Men’ I hated ‘The Pearl’, so I am rather hesitant on trying another book by Steinbeck. I think for now I will remove it from the list.

GO

 

4. Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

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The coachman tried to warn her away from the ruined, forbidding place on the rainswept Cornish coast. But young Mary Yellan chose instead to honor her mother’s dying request that she join her frightened Aunt Patience and huge, hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn at Jamaica Inn. From her first glimpse on that raw November eve, she could sense the inn’s dark power. But never did Mary dream that she would become hopelessly ensnared in the vile, villainous schemes being hatched within its crumbling walls — or that a handsome, mysterious stranger would so incite her passions … tempting her to love a man whom she dares not trust.

 

 

I really need to read some Daphne du Maurier! I own so many of her books and ashamedly I have not read one. I know, this needs to change.

KEEP

 

5. Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens

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Dickens’s first historical novel is a thrilling tale of murder, treachery, and forbidden love with rioting mob scenes to make any reader’s hair stand on end
 Barnaby Rudge is a young innocent simpleton who is devoted to his talkative raven, Grip. When he gets caught up in the mayhem of the Gordon riots and a mysterious unsolved murder, his life is put in jeopardy. This is a powerful historical tale of forbidden love, abduction, and the dangerous power of the mob.

 

 

 

As per usual all Dickens has to stay on the list.

KEEP

Just 5 books today and only 1 leaving the list. I must admit doing this challenge is making me realise just how many books I want to read.

If there are any books on the list today that you have read and want to drop me a comment about, please do.

Happy Reading!

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Down the TBR Hole #13

Down the TBR Hole was the brain child of Lost In A Story. The idea is to reduce the length of your Goodreads TBR.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads want to read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 or 10 books.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go

 

It’s that time again, lets see if I can shrink this TBR list down. The list is currently at 472.

1. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

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Set in English society before the 1832 Reform Bill, Wives and Daughters centres on the story of youthful Molly Gibson, brought up from childhood by her father. When he remarries, a new step-sister enters Molly’s quiet life – loveable, but worldly and troubling, Cynthia. The narrative traces the development of the two girls into womanhood within the gossiping and watchful society of Hollingford.

 

 

 

My aim is to one day read all of Elizabeth Gaskell’s books so this will stay on the list.

KEEP

 

2. The Complete Poems of Emily Jane Bronte

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In 1846 a small book entitled Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell appeared on the British literary scene. The three pseudonymous poets, the Bronte sisters, went on to unprecedented success with such novels as Wuthering Heights, Agnes Grey, and Jane Eyre, all published in the following year. As children, these English sisters had begun writing poems and stories about an imaginary country named Gondal, yet they never sought to publish any of their work until Charlotte’s discovery of Emily’s more mature poems in the autumn of 1845, Charlotte later recalled: “I accidentally lighted on a MS. volume of verse in my sister Emily’s handwriting… I looked it over, and something more than surprise seized me – a deep conviction that these were not common effusions, nor at all like the poetry women generally write. I thought them condensed and terse, vigorous and genuine. To my ear they had also a peculiar musicwild, melancholy, and elevating.” The renowned Hatfield edition of The Complete Poems of Emily Jane Bronte includes the poetry that captivated Charlotte Bronte a century and a half ago, a body of work that continues to resonate today. This incomparable volume includes Emily’s verse from Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell as well as 200 works collected from various manuscript sources after her death in 1848. Some were edited and preserved by Charlotte and Arthur Bell Nichols; still others were discovered years later by Bronte scholars. Originally released in 1923, Hatfield’s collection was the result of a remarkable attempt over twenty years to isolate Emily’s poems from her sisters’ and to achieve chronological order. Accompanied by an interpretive preface on “The Gondal Story” byMiss Fannie E. Ratchford, author of The Brontes Web of Childhood, this edition is the definitive collection of Emily Bronte’s poetical works. In 1846 a small book entitled Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell appeared on the British literary scene. The three pseudonymous poets, the Bronte sisters, went on to unprecedented success with such novels as Wuthering Heights, Agnes Grey, and Jane Eyre, all published in the following year. As children, these English sisters had begun writing poems and stories about an imaginary country named Gondal, yet they never sought to publish any of their work until Charlotte’s discovery of Emily’s more mature poems in the autumn of 1845, Charlotte later recalled: “I accidentally lighted on a MS. volume of verse in my sister Emily’s handwriting… I looked it over, and something more than surprise seized me – a deep conviction that these were not common effusions, nor at all like the poetry women generally write. I thought them condensed and terse, vigorous and genuine. To my ear they had also a peculiar musicwild, melancholy, and elevating.” The renowned Hatfield edition of The Complete Poems of Emily Jane Bronte includes the poetry that captivated Charlotte Bronte a century and a half ago, a body of work that continues to resonate today. This incomparable volume includes Emily’s verse from Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell as well as 200 works collected from various manuscript sources after her death in 1848. Some were edited and preserved by Charlotte and Arthur Bell Nichols; still others were discovered years later by Bronte scholars. Originally released in 1923, Hatfield’s collection was the result of a remarkable attempt over twenty years to isolate Emily’s poems from her sisters’ and to achieve chronological order. Accompanied by an interpretive preface on “The Gondal Story” byMiss Fannie E. Ratchford, author of The Brontes Web of Childhood, this edition is the definitive collection of Emily Bronte’s poetical works.

This is a tricky one because although I love the novels of the Bronte sisters I really have not got on well with their poetry, especially Emilys’. I’m not sure why but I struggle with her poems and do not enjoy them, so for now I think I will take this off the list.

GO

 

3. Life of St Columba by Adomnan of Iona 

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Founding father of the famous monastery on the island of Iona, a site of pilgrimage ever since his death in 597, St Columba was born into one of the ruling families in Ireland at a time of immense expansion for the Irish Church. This account of his life, written by Adomnán – the ninth abbot of Iona, and a distant relative of St Columba – describes his travels from Ireland to Scotland and his mission in the cause of Celtic Christianity there. Written 100 years after St Columba’s death, it draws on written and oral traditions to depict a wise abbot among his monks, who like Christ was capable of turning water into wine, controlling sea-storms and raising the dead. An engaging account of one of the central figures in the ‘Age of Saints’, this is a major work of early Irish and Scottish history.

I love Iona and the history and I have actually read certain parts of this book but not all of the book. I will keep this on the list as I would like to read it all.

KEEP

 

4. The Idiot by Fydor Dostoevsky

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Returning to Russia from a sanitarium in Switzerland, the Christ-like epileptic Prince Myshkin finds himself enmeshed in a tangle of love, torn between two women—the notorious kept woman Nastasya and the pure Aglaia—both involved, in turn, with the corrupt, money-hungry Ganya. In the end, Myshkin’s honesty, goodness, and integrity are shown to be unequal to the moral emptiness of those around him. In her revision of the Garnett translation, Anna Brailovsky has corrected inaccuracies wrought by Garnett’s drastic anglicization of the novel, restoring as much as possible the syntactical structure of the original story.

 

 

I love Russian literature so this just has to stay.

KEEP

 

5. Life after Life by Kate Atkinson

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What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

Does Ursula’s apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can – will she?

I’m not sure why I added this book because I do not remember anything about it but after reading the blurb I will take it off the list. I really do not like books that have characters with endless lives, or books that repeat one period of time over and over again until the loop is broken.

GO

Just 5 books today but 2 books off the list and down to 470. If you have read any of these books and would like to drop me a comment please do.

Happy Reading

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