Challenge: Women’s Classic Literature Event

Women's Classic Literature Event

My fellow bookworms, I was really pleased to spot this event being announced on The Classics Club. This is more a celebration than a “reading challenge.”. A way for us to read more women from the canon or to discover those long lost titles, and share our thoughts and excitement about them.

Here are the great female authors and their works I still have to read off my Classics Club list:

  • Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë
  • The Tenant of Wildfel Hall by Anne Brontë
  • The Professor by Charlotte Brontë
  • Villette by Charlotte Brontë
  • Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Five Children and It by E Nesbit
  • The Railway Children by E Nesbit

This event runs from now to 31st December 2016. There will be 5 check-ins for us to share what we’ve been reading with each other. The first in January 2016 then April, July, October and December. I am looking forward to what I will read.

Are you taking part in this event? What would you like to read? Are there any of my choices that you think I simply must read?

Meme: Tough Travelling – Cursing

Tough Travelling

Nathan, over at the Fantasy Review Barn, runs this weekly meme Tough Travelling, where readers are encouraged to tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy. Using The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones for inspiration.

This week’s topic is CREATIVE CURSING

New lands, new languages, new things to cuss out.  Nobody in fantasyland cusses in quite the same way though; each world has its own way to yell at the world.

I was down-hearted when I saw this topic, as I prefer my fantasy on the lighter and fairy tale side which doesn’t tend to contain swearing. Or I had the opposite problem. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin and The Dark Tower by Stephen King are full of swearing, but it is just regular English swearing. I have dug deep though to think of a few:

Harry Potter by J K Rowling – This is a magical world existing secretly within the regular world. So regular swear and curse words exist, however it is, the magically inspired, utterance of shock “Merlin’s Beard!” that I love.

Discworld by Terry Pratchett – Words have a lot of power in this world, which when it comes to cursing the wizards learn the hard way. As their “hells”, “damns”, “buggers”, “blasts”, and even a “bloody hellfire!” magically make odd and dangerous bugs materialise! Reducing the wizards to lacklustre “poots”, “darns” and “drats”.

Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien – The language of the goblins and orcs is dark, violent and often insulting. For which reason in his novels Tolkien left much of their speech un-translated, however some translations have included the words “cesspool”, “dung-filth”, “torture”, “stinking”, and “pig-guts”.

Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009) – Okay this is neither fantasy or a book, but I couldn’t do a topic on creative cursing and not mention “frak!”. A cool series and the coolest fictional swear word ever!

What creative cursing can you think of? Please let me know if you’re taking part in this week’s topic too.

Book Tag: My Life in Books

My Life in Books

Hello my fellow bookworms time for a fun tag which the lovely Maren of The Worn Bookmark tagged everyone in. All my answers are chosen from books off my bookshelf.

1) Find a book for each of your initials.

  • Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

2) Count your age along your bookshelf.  Which book is it? (My shelves are in no particular order so I’ve counted along as best I could)

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.

3) Pick a book set in your city/county/country.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (England).

4) Pick a book that represents a destination you would love to travel to.

Inferno by Dan Brown (Florence, Venice and Istanbul).

5) Pick a book that’s your favourite colour.

Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart (purple).

6) Which book do you have the fondest memories of?

The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien.

7) Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens.

8) Which book in your TBR pile will give you the biggest sense of accomplishment when you finish it.

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (it’s huge! and will end The Mortal Instruments series).

I tag all bookworms out there who fancy giving this a go. I would love to read your answers to these questions.

New Read: What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace?

Whats So Great About the Doctrines of Grace

Mid-way through September I found my anxiety heightened; probably from a combination of darker weather, illness and a change in routine. I sought comfort in What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace? by Richard D Phillips.

In six short chapters the Reverend Richard D Phillips explains the doctrines of grace; also known as the five points of Calvinism. These are Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, and Perseverance of the saints (TULIP). This is not really what I thought this book would be about, as Calvinism is not something I have heard or read anything about before. However I found this to be a good, short introduction to Calvinism and the theology.

I went into this book looking for comfort and inspiration. I did find some inspiration but less comfort. At first the terminology, i.e. total depravity and unconditional election, seemed a little daunting, and the book is heavy on theology. I think Phillips described the doctrines of grace really well but often cross referenced other theology I knew nothing about. I found the theology interesting yet it wasn’t as relatable as other Christian non-fiction I have read this year; which had more anecdotes and personal experience in them.

What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace? was a quick and interesting read for me. If you are looking for a clear and concise explanation of the Doctrines of Grace/the five points of Calvinism this could be good for you. Not quite what I was looking for. Okay read.

Have you read this? Have you read about the Doctrines of Grace?

Meme: Tough Travelling – Roads

Tough Travelling

Nathan, over at the Fantasy Review Barn, runs this weekly meme Tough Travelling, where readers are encouraged to tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy. Using The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones for inspiration.

This week’s topic is WELL TRAVELLED ROADS

Rare is the fantasy adventure that stays close to come.  Most require a long adventure down some well travelled roads…

This seemed like a relatively easy topic, but once I got thinking I found naming roads quite hard! Here are the few I could think of:

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien – the road goes ever on and on…first Bilbo and then his cousin Frodo take the East Road out of The Shire heading for Rivendell, the Misty Mountains and adventure.

The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien – later in Bilbo and the dwarves’ adventure they decide to take the Old Elven Road through Mirkwood; hoping it will be safer as it is less likely to be watched.

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin – the Kings Road stretches almost the length of Westeros. From The Wall in the far north, down through the capital King’s Landing, and further down to Storm’s End in the south. Many of our protagonists have set out, for good or ill, along this road.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum – perhaps the most famous road has to be the Yellow Brick Road, which is the sure fire way to find your way to the Emerald City; the capital of Oz. Many adventures are to be found along the way too.

What well-travelled roads to adventure can you think of? Please let me know if you’re taking part in this week’s topic too.

Goodbye September, Hello October 2015

September 2015

Hello my fellow bookworms, I hope you are all well? September has just flown by for me and the weather has dramatically cooled; no gradual transition into autumn for us! Which has seen me suffering with sinus problems and the sniffles. On the other hand I have loved making soup, and getting my comfortable boots and my favourite scarves back out.

September has also seen the start of the new school year. The children I support have made a positive start to year 6 and while it is very busy I am enjoying my work. In the cooling evenings I have been curling up in a blanket to enjoy a good book and some great adaptations.

Fiction: 3     Non-Fiction: 2     Poetry: 0

The start of autumn always sees me pining for more gothic and mysterious books, which makes the R.I.P event perfect for me. First up was the Sherlock Holmes adventure The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle; my result for The Classics Club’s last spin feature. Followed by The Raven’s Head by Karen Maitland a dark, historical tale with a supernatural twist. To lighten the mood I also enjoyed a comforting re-read of Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett.

Alongside these fictions I also read two Christian non-fictions. First I read The Faith of a Mockingbird by Matt Rawle; an instalment from a new Bible series looking into books, movies, TV shows, music and pop culture. Then I read What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace? by Richard D Phillips; my full thoughts still to be posted.

Pick of the Month: Wyrd Sisters

Considering I started back at work this month I am really pleased I still completed 5 books. During the month I also continued reading Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson for The Classics Club, and continued my R.I.P reading with Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart.

In October, as the dark nights draw in, I am looking forward to snuggling up of an evening with more suitably gothic and mysterious books and adaptations.

What did you do and read in September? Any plans for October?

New Books: September 2015

New Books - September 2015

Hello my fellow bookworms, I have been more reserved this month so there is just a few goodies I’ve managed to add to my Kindle in this month:

Wendy Darling (Volume 1: Stars) by Colleen Oakes

Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott

I keep telling myself I have too many galleys, but what is a girl to do when they put so many good books on there?! Last year I read book 1 and 2 of Colleen Oakes’ Wonderland re-imagining the Queen of Hearts; book 3 of which I am still impatiently waiting for! So I couldn’t resist trying Wendy Darling a re-imagining of Peter Pan. Then I love Little Women and I love short story collection so again how could I resist Flower Fables?!

Headline Murder by Peter Bartram

I was contacted by the author about this cosy crime. I couldn’t take part in the blog tour, but I do love a cosy crime and it is R.I.P season so I was still happy to receive a review copy.

Girl Meets Change by Kristen Strong

Then finally, but not least, I received a copy of Christian non-fiction Girl Meets Change from the publishers via Netgalley. I haven’t read anything by Kristen Strong before. I do suffer with anxiety about change though so I am interested to see what this advises.

Have you read anything by these authors? What new books have you got your hands on recently?