New Book – 14/02/2019

Hello my fellow readers!

I hope you have all had a good week and have a full weekend of reading planned ahead.

I just thought I would tell you about my latest new book. My wonderful husband took me to Waterstones on Valentine’s Day and told me to choose a book and he would treat me. I was very restrained as he had already spoiled me with some other presents and a big bunch of flowers, he is brilliant. My choice in the end was The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths. I have been looking forward to this book and so grabbed it when I saw it on the shelf, although it was hidden away right at the bottom. Another exciting book to add on to my TBR pile!

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I am hoping to read a bit more next week and get down my TBR pile, work has got in the way recently and falling asleep on the sofa but next week is half term so I am hoping for a bit of reading time as I am only working on three days and they are not full days.

What will everyone be reading this weekend?

Lady Book Dragon

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100 Books Scratch Off Bucket List

I mentioned at Christmas that my best friend bought me the 100 Books Scratch Off Bucket List and I decided that I would start reading the books on there that I have not read before. Anyway the list has been sat looking at me since Christmas and I still haven’t made a start on reading some of the books off the list.

So I thought I would make a few lists and enlist you my fellow readers to help me decide on which book to read next.

Here is what the poster looks like

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Firstly, the books I have already read:-

  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  3. The Complete Art of War by Sun Tzu
  4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
  5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  6. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  7. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
  8. The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
  9. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  10. Harry Potter (Series) by J. K. Rowling
  11. The Picture of Dorain Gray by Oscar Wilde
  12.  The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  13. Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  14. The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  15. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  16. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  17. A Game of Thrones (Series) by George R. R. Martin
  18. MacBeth by William Shakespeare
  19. The Lord of the Rings (Trilogy) by J. R. R. Tolkien
  20. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  21. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  22. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
  23. Winnie the Pooh (Complete Collection) By A. A. Milne
  24. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  25. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
  26. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  27. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  28. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
  29. Watership Down by Richard Adam
  30. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  31. Bird Song by Sebastian Faulks
  32. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  33. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

 

Books I have not read (the ones I own are in blue):-

  1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  2. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  3. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  4. Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
  5. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  6. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  7. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
  8. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  9. The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
  10. Naughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  11. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  12. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  13. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  14. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  15. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
  16. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  17. The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas
  18. The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larsson
  19. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  20. His Dark Materials (Trilogy) By Philip Pullman
  21. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  22. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  23. Ulysees by James Joyce
  24. Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
  25. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  26. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
  27. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  28. Wild Swans by Jung Chang
  29. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre
  30. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  31. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  32. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  33. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
  34. Freakonomics by Levitt and Dubner
  35. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  36. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  37. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  38. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  39. Notes From A Small Island by Bill Bryson
  40. A History of Venice by John Julius Norwich
  41. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
  42. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  43. A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
  44. Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally
  45. London Fields by Martin Amis
  46. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  47. My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
  48. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
  49. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
  50. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  51. The Commitments by Roddy Doyle
  52. Gladys Aylward the Little Woman by Gladys Aylward
  53. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  54. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
  55. Dissolution by C. J. Sansom
  56. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
  57. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  58. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  59. The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton
  60. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  61. The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  62. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  63. Misery by Stephen King
  64. The Odyssey by Homer
  65. Tell No One by Harlan Coben
  66. Moby – Dick by Herman Melville
  67. Middlemarch by George Eliot

 

So out of the books on the list that I have not read and own which do you think I should read next? Whichever book is the most popular I will read next. Thank you in advance for your choices.

Happy reading.

Lady Book Dragon.

Friday Poetry

This poem I chose because believe it or not I am currently doing a Chicken Behaviour and Welfare course online with Edinburgh University. After owning chickens for quite a few years I decided to learn more about them. After all you are never too old to learn new things.

Also this is my 100th blog post. Thank you for all the ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ everyone.

Cock – Crow

Out of the wood of thoughts that grows by night

To be cut down by the sharp axe of light, –

Out of the night, two cocks together crow,

Cleaving the darkness with a silver blow:

And bright before my eyes twin trumpeters stand,

Heralds of splendour, one at either hand,

Each facing each as in a coat of arms:

The milkers lace their boots up at the farms.

Edward Thomas

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This was the first cockeral that I ever owned his name was Charles and his hens were Queen Elizabeth, Eugenie, Victoria, Diana, Beatrice and Catherine.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Lady Book Dragon.

Happy Birthday Charles Dickens!

Happy Birthday to you.

Happy Birthday to you.

Happy Birthday dear Charles Dickens!

Happy Birthday to YOU!

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Another of my favourite authors was born on this day and that is the great Charles Dickens. Charles Dickens was born on this day in 1812 in Portsmouth. Dickens left school to work in a factory when his father was incarcerated in debtors prison. Despite his lack of education Dickens went on to write 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non fiction articles, lectured and performed readings, he also edited a weekly journal for 20 years. He was also a campaigner for children’s rights, education and social reforms.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was the first Dickens novel I read and also the first classic book I read at the young age of 9 years old. Later I fell in love with A Tale of Two Cities and have since read it many times. I have not read all Dickens’ novels though sadly but hope to remedy that soon. I do own a beautiful set of old Dickens’ novels that are a joy to behold and read and a complete set of Vintage Classics that are paperback. I tend to read the paperbacks though as I do not like to take the old antique ones out of the house. Sadly as we are trying to get our library room finished my Dickens collection is stacked up in the living room, but I have included a few snaps of my antique Dickens books.

So Charles Dickens, happy birthday and thank you for your wonderful work, you truly were a literary genius.

Lady Book Dragon.

 

The Dickens’ novels that I have read are as follows:-

The Pickwick Papers

A Christmas Carol

A Tale of Two Cities

Our Mutual Friend

The Old Curiosity Shop

Great Expectations.

Which one do you think I should read next? I would love to hear what your favourite Dickens novel is.

 

 

New Books 3/02/2019

Amazon has a lot to answer for, they keep sending me all these emails advertising the cheap books and this evening before I had realised what I had done I had bought 7 books!

I could not believe that the the entire series of Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan was on the deal of the day, each book costing just 99p each. Then I also discovered another Veronica Henry book for 99p and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

I’m very excited to read the Heroes of Olympus series as I am a massive fan of Rick Riordan.

So here are my lovely new books.

Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

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Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

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Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

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Heroes of Olympus: The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

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Heroes of Olympus: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

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A Family Recipe by Veronica Henry

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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach

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Many exciting books to read, lets hope I find the time to fit in all this reading.

I would love to hear if anybody has read these books and their thoughts on them, please drop me a comment.

Lady Book Dragon

 

 

January 2019 Wrap up

Well it is finally the last day of January, the snow drops have started to appear and all of a sudden the weather has gone very cold. Thank you to my new followers, the blog has now got 40 followers, which I am very happy about as I have only been blogging for 3 months.

This month I managed to read 6 books! To be honest getting back to work after Christmas I was not expecting to have read 6 books this month so I am very chuffed with myself.

If you click on the books you will be diected to the reviews I have written for the for books.

What I read…

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5/5 Dragons and on my favourites list! 

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3/5 Dragons

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5/5 Dragons

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4/5 Dragons

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5/5 Dragons

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3/5 Dragons

As you can see January was a good month as 3 out of the 6 books are rated 5 Dragons. I also discovered a new author I would like to read more of which is Juliet Ashton, I have already bought one more book written by her and added some more to my wish list. I have also added Coming Home to my favourites list as I loved it so much and plan on reading it again. I hope the rest of year proves to be as good reading wise because January was certainly an excellent start to 2019.

I would love to hear your thoughts if you have read any of these book?

Thank you.

Lady Book Dragon

P.s I leave you with Lyra our book loving cat, I hope you can find her in the photo!

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The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne

The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne

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About the author

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Paula Byrne is a British author and biographer with a PHD from the University of Liverpool. Byrne is married to the Shakespeare scholar Sir Jonathan Bate.

Blurb

Who was the real Jane Austen? A retiring spinster content with quiet village life? Or a strong-minded woman who chose to remain unmarried and to fashion herself as a professional writer?

Bestselling biographer Paula Byrne uses objects that conjure up a key moment in Austen’s life and work – a vellum notebook, a topaz cross, a writing box and a bathing machine – to unlock the biography of this most beloved author. The woman who emerges is far tougher, more socially and politically aware, and altogether more modern than the conventional picture of ‘dear aunt Jane’ allows. Byrne’s lively book explores the many forces that shaped Austen’s life and her long struggle to become a published author, and brings Miss Austen dazzlingly into the twenty-first century.

Review

As I think I have mentioned before I discovered this book in the hotel room where I was staying in Bath over New Year and I began reading it there and bought a copy of my own from the Waterstones in Bath. I must confess that I am not the best at reading non-fiction but this book read really easily and did not seem like a biography. Whilst reading it, I have been using the lovely card we had on New Year from the hotel as a book mark as shown in the picture below.

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From the first chapter of this book I was hooked, I loved the the way it was laid out, each chapter focusing on an object owned by Jane Austen. I enjoyed how Byrne linked everything together with Austen’s life, her letters, her adventures, and her novels. Byrne has quite clearly spent a great deal of time researching Jane Austen and reading all of Jane Austen’s novels.

I found this biography to be quite an easy read that did not require too much brain power to get through. I find some biographies of famous authors quite in-depth and difficult to read and I have to dip in and out of the book. This book flowed easily and I read it fairly quickly. The only thing I disliked was how Byrne put across Austen’s opinions, when really nobody knows for sure what her opinions were and Byrne is clearly making educated guesses. I would much rather she had kept to the cold hard facts and opinions that Austen expressed in her letters.

I did find Byrne was rather obsessed with Mansfield Park but I did not mind this too much as it has encouraged me to read it again, as it has been some time since I have read it. I would also like to read Lady Susan as I have never got round to reading it but own two copies of it.

My favourite chapters were actually the last two chapters The Royalty Cheque and The Bathing Machine. The Royalty Cheque I enjoyed because it showed Austen making a living from her novels and enjoying some of her own success. I also did not realise that the Prince Regent was such a fan of Austen’s novels and that Emma was dedicated to him and Austen paid for and had a special three volume set of Emma given to the Prince Regent which is still today in the Royal Collection. It is the little facts like this in the biography which makes the book such a joy to read. The Bathing Machine made me giggle quite a bit I must confess, the idea of ladies being fully covered in clothes and going for a swim or a paddle around if they could not swim to be quite funny but also dangerous. I do not think the freezing temperatures would have done the bathers any good at all.

I truly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to any Jane Austen fan, I have already recommended it to my sister, who introduced me to the works of Jane Austen when I was little. It is an excellently put together biography which links together beautifully and the illustrations and photos are excellent. I have given this book 4 out of 5 Dragons.

Lady Book Dragon

 

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