The Weekly Brief


I have been rather naughty this week and have not written the two reviews I have sat waiting, but I promise they will be posted soon. Here is what happened on the blog this week

Posts this Week


Books I am Currently Reading



Books Acquired


Happy Reading!


September TBR

I don’t usually have a TBR list for a month as I am usually more of a mood reader, however this month I do have a few books that I need to read before my Masters restarts in October and I also have a few other books that I want to read but uni books come first.

So here is my TBR…


Aeneid by Virgil

Georgics by Virgil

Metamorphoses by Ovid

The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Anna of Kleve: Queen of Secrets by Alison Weir


The first three books are the uni ones so they come first. Hopefully I will get all the books read.

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WWW Wednesday: 12/08/2020

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 is here and I am really into my reading groove. Here is what I have been up to this week.

What I am Currently Reading


I am just reading this at the moment and I am loving it so far. The translation is a joy to read and the introduction by Wilson is possibly the best introduction I have ever read to a book. I have not stopped telling people about this book. Plus it is so unbelievably tactile, the pages are cut like real parchment and are thick and just amazing. Yes I know I am weird but I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds certain books wonderfully tactile, am I?

What I have Recently Finished Reading

Finished these two last week. I enjoyed The Postscript Murders but the story was just a bit ridiculous for me and certain characters annoyed me. The Summer of Madness was wonderful though and I really enjoyed it. (click the titles to go to the reviews).

What I will Read Next

The honest answer to this is I have no idea! I have so many books I want to read on my TBR pile that I just don’t know what to choose. But here are some possibles anyway.

So there is another WWW Wednesday done and dusted. Please drop me a link with your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit. Please also feel free to chat about the books, I love talking all things books.

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Reading Habits Book Tag


I wasn’t tagged in this book tag but I have seen it around on people’s blogs recently and really liked the idea of having a go. So here are my reading habits.

Bookmarks or Random Pieces of Paper

This an easy one, definitely bookmarks. I love buying bookmarks so I have loads so I always make sure I make use of them in my books. I will be honest I do tend to stick to a few favourites though.


Stop Reading Randomly or Stop After a Chapter/ Certain Amount of Pages

I like to stop at a chapter but most likely I will stop at a random point especially at night because it is usually where I start to fall asleep. I must admit sometimes I pick the book back up a little confused at where I left off.


Certain Place at Home for Reading?

I read in loads of places! The conservatory when the weather is nice, curled up the sofa with a blanket in lounge when it is cold, at night in bed before sleep. One of my favourite places though is rather a random one which my husband finds very strange, I love leaning over on the AGA and I lean on the simmering plate (lid down obviously) and read. But really I’m happy to read anywhere.


Eat or Drink while Reading?

During the day it is always with a cup of tea. I used to eat breakfast and read but I haven’t done that for a while. At one point I read The Art of War every morning whilst eating breakfast, read into that what you will.


Music or TV while Reading?

I generally always listen to music when I read, I love to have music on for everything and it doesn’t matter what I listen to either. I can also watch TV and read because generally I block it out. During Grand Prix season I get a lot more reading done because I read whilst it is on in the background.


One Book at a Time or Several?

I prefer one book at a time and maybe a dip in book on the side but sometimes I have a couple of books on the go, especially if I am reading a book for my course.


Reading at Home or Everywhere

Everywhere! I read in gaps between work, if I arrive at work early I sit in the car and read, I read whilst waiting for appointments, basically if I have a minute I read. So I always carry a book with me.


Reading Out Loud of Silently?

Silently, I just read in my head because I can read a lot faster than reading it out loud.


Do You Ever Read Ahead or Skip Pages?

Not really, I hate spoiling the ending and can never understand people who read the end first. My mom reads the end of the book first to see whether the book is worth reading in the first place which always baffles me. I also don’t skip pages, when I read a book I like to read it all.


Breaking the Spine or Keeping it Like New?

Like new. I prefer hardbacks to all formats but whatever book I have I like to keep pristine. However, when it is a book I have read many times I don’t mind if the spine eventually gives in because the book is now an old friend. My copy of The Three Musketeers is now in four pieces that is how much I have read it.


Do You Write in Books?

Never! Even when using a book for my studies I put little bits of paper inside or Post It notes instead but I never write in a book. For my English Literature A level my teacher made me write in my copies and I hated it.


So that is a glimpse into my reading habits. I hope you enjoyed it and please drop me a comment if you have also taken part in this book tag as I would love to see other people’s reading habits or if you just want to chat.

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April 2020 Wrap Up

Wow, what a good reading month April has been, I don’t think I have read so many books in one month for a very long time. Sadly, the reason I have managed this feat is because of lockdown, but let’s only focus on the positives here. So here is what April looked like…

Books I read

(Click on the pictures to go to the review)

The Gates by Richard Pierce


65 pages

Format read: Kindle

4.5/5 Dragons



The Last Best Hope (Star Trek Picard) by Una McCormack


336 pages

Format read: Hardcover

5/5 Dragons



Half A World Away by Mike Gayle


368 pages

Format read: paperback

5/5 Dragons

Also my favourite book of April!

(This book is currently only 99p in the Kindle store)


The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young



160 pages

Format read: paperback

3/5 Dragons



The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett



288 pages

Format read: paperback

4/5 Dragons



On Chapel Sands: My Mother and Other Missing Persons by Laura Cumming



320 pages

Format read: Hardcover

2/5 Dragons



Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming



192 pages

Format read: Hardcover

5/5 Dragons



The Madness of Cambyses by Herodotus



55 pages

Format read: Paperback

4/5 Dragons



Page Total: 1784

So that is my April wrap up. Please drop me comment if you have read any of these books.

Happy reading.

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November Wrap Up

Hello my fellow Book Dragons!

Well it has been another busy month with lots of studying and assignment writing as well as the normal day job keeping me busy.

Not as many books read this month but hopefully in December it will increase because I have loads of books I want to read.


Books Read (Click on the Titles to be taken to the review):-



The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths

Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare

A Very Murderous Christmas by various.


Total page count this month:- 656

Year page count:- 14,017


Happy reading!

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Music and Reading

Hello my fellow book dragons!

Over the last few days I have been pondering something that happens to me and I was wondering if it happens to any of my fellow readers.

As a musician music is a massive part of my life and so is reading and often the two go together as I do like to listen to music and read at the same time. However, when I reread a book I notice I associate certain parts of the book with certain songs. This happens the most when reading Harry Potter. When I first discovered the Harry Potter series I was visiting my sister in Scotland and read the books on the car journey to and from her house. At this time I also had a massive Linkin Park addiction and so now whenever I read one of the first four Harry Potter books I think of certain Linkin Park songs.

Now this evening whilst teaching one of my flute students I also had the same experience. My student is currently learning a piece I performed at university and had to write a massive essay on comparing 4 different performances of the same piece. This meant for weeks I was constantly listening to this piece, I was also commuting back and forth to university on the train and when I wasn’t writing essays on the train I was reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Now when I hear this piece I think of the book and it brings back very nostalgic memories of one of my favourite books.

This happens a lot with me whilst reading and I was wondering if anybody else experienced it or similar situations? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please drop me a comment.

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p.s My cat Lyra wanted to feature in the photo as well but wouldn’t keep still.

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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The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Review)

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood


About the author


Margaret Atwood born 18th November 1939 is a Canadian author, poet, essayist and literary critic. She has written numerous fiction and non-fiction books, books of poetry and children’s books. She has won the Giller Prize in Canada, Premio Mondello in Italy and the 2000 Booker Prize. She was also awarded the Asturias Prize for Literature in 2008.


The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.


This has been on my TBR pile for a very long time and this summer I put it on my reading challenge to make sure I read it. Now please bare with me on this review because I think it might prove controversial.

I did enjoy the book and found the idea of it rather terrifying at times but I must admit for me it did not have the WOW factor. The main reason for this I think is the way it was written, at times I found it frustrating how it kept flitting from past to present all the time. I would have much rather had more of the present rather than the past because I found the bits from the past broke the narrative up for me. I understand why Atwood did this but for me it really did not work.

I enjoyed the story and the concept was good and well thought out but I just can not understand what all the hype is about. I was left underwhelmed and wondering if I had read the same book as everyone else. However I was left wanting to know more at the end of the book so I am very pleased that I have purchased the sequel and will be starting to read it now, I just hope it will be a better read.

I liked the characters but I would have liked more from them, I just could not connect with them and I just felt frustrated and wanting more. I must admit this book took me a long time to read because some days I just could not be bothered with it and for me that is never a good sign and why I only gave the book 3 out of 5 Dragons. The reason it did not get lower was because I was left wanting more. However I do not think I will be reading this book again.

Purchase Links


Book Depository

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The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (Review)

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James


About the author


Henry James, born 15th April 1843, was an American-British author. He is best known for his novels dealing with social and marital interplay, in his later years his novels became more experimental. He passed away in February 1916.


A very young woman’s first job: governess for two weirdly beautiful, strangely distant, oddly silent children, Miles and Flora, at a forlorn estate…An estate haunted by a beckoning evil.

Half-seen figures who glare from dark towers and dusty windows- silent, foul phantoms who, day by day, night by night, come closer, ever closer. With growing horror, the helpless governess realizes the fiendish creatures want the children, seeking to corrupt their bodies, possess their minds, own their souls…

But worse-much worse- the governess discovers that Miles and Flora have no terror of the lurking evil.

For they want the walking dead as badly as the dead want them.


This was the last book I completed on holiday and to be honest it was a massive disappointment. I just could not get on with James’ writing style and found the whole story to be extremely boring.

The story centres around a young woman who is hired to be the governess of two young orphans. The uncle of these children does not want to know anything of their upbringing or of any problems, he wants to live his life to the full unhindered by these children. The governess goes off to a large country estate to look after these children and she immediately starts to hear and see strange things.

Now my first reaction was that this governess is very young for such responsibility and inexperienced. Her imagination could easily be running wild, and turning the sounds of an old house into something more. The housekeeper does not help instead of giving the girl a good shake she just blindly accepts what the governess is saying.

Then the two ghosts start to appear that only the governess has seen but she is convinced the children have seen them too but the children are not afraid of the ghosts.

At times I did wonder and still do whether all of this was in the governess’ head because it just was not a very convincing gothic horror story. It just felt forced and sloppily written, and there were certain things that got on my nerves, for instance why did she just ignore that the boy was expelled from boarding school, why did she not found out why he was expelled or find him another school? The only good point was the description and setting the scene of the gothic style manor house.

The final straw was the ending which just annoyed me no end and just confirmed to me that the book had been a massive waste of my time, I was just thankful it was rather short. I gave this book 1 out 5 Dragons.

Purchase Links


Book Depository

Details of book I read

Page count: 124

Format: Kindle

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