New Books: May 2015

New Books - May 2015

Hello my fellow bookworms, here’s what goodies I have managed to add to my bookshelf and Kindle recently:

Lamp Black, Wolf Grey by Paula Brackston

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

Kingmaker: Broken Faith by Toby Clements

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M Harris

5 new fictions for my Kindle this month. The two Agatha Christie mysteries were being offered for free on Amazon (UK) so I obviously had to download them! Then I received Welsh historical/mythological Lamp Black, Wolf Grey, historical fiction Kingmaker: Broken Faith, and epic fantasy The Gospel of Loki from Netgalley. I am excited about all of these books. In particularly I have heard great things about The Gospel of Loki and I am looking forward to continuing Clements’s Kingmaker series.

The Faith of a Mockingbird by Matt Rawle

Warner Bros. Studio Tour, London: The Making of Harry Potter (The Official Guide)

I also received faith non-fiction The Faith of a Mockingbird for my Kindle from Netgalley. I was intrigued by the links the author has made to To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Then slightly randomly my mother picked up The Making of Harry Potter (The Official Guide) from the Education Show. Where Warner Bros. Studio Tour, London had a stand to promote school trips. I loved my visit to the studios, and would love to go again now they have The Hogwarts Express there.

Have you read any of these? What new books are you excited about?

Goodbye April, Hello May

April 2015

Hello my fellow bookworms, I hope you are all well? This year seems to be flying by. Happily though April has been a warmer and sunnier month here in the UK. I had a wonderful Easter weekend, did a couple of puppet shows for my church, and started going for short runs; all positive. Sadly I did also get sinusitis which saw me reaching for lighter, comfort reads. Here is what I managed to read:

Fiction: 4     Non-Fiction: 1     Poetry: 0

I started the month off by finishing historical fiction Red Rose, White Rose by Joanna Hickson. An enjoyable, escapist read into the early life of Cicely Neville and the events leading up to the War of the Roses. Next I plunged into a comforting re-read of The Two Towers by J R R Tolkien, the 2nd book in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. An intricate and enchanting tale which was a much easier read than it had been previously.

This is about the time my sinuses began to hurt so I next picked up the fairy tale re-imagining The Wanderers by Cheryl Mahoney, hoping for a lighter, fun read. I wasn’t disappointed either. I simply raced through this witty and charming adventure. Then at the end of the month I squeezed in comedy, fantasy Mort by Terry Pratchett, the 4th novel from the epic Discworld series; my full thoughts are still to be posted. The Two Towers, The Wanderers and Mort now takes my reading count for the Once Upon a Time IX event up to 4 which I am really pleased with.

Alongside these fictions I also read historical non-fiction Rebellion by Peter Ackroyd, the 3rd volume of The History of England. An interesting read which looks into the Stuart monarchs, their downfalls, and the Civil War.

Picks of the Month: The Two Towers and The Wanderers

And those are just the books I finished. Through out the month I have been dipping in and out of The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens, for The Classics Club, and inspirational, Christian non-fiction The Praying Woman’s Devotional by Stormie Omartian. I am also close to finishing a  re-read of humorous and inspirational memoir The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment by Isabel Losada.

In May I am looking forward to more good reading, my brother’s birthday, and half term at work.

What did you do and read in April?

Meme: Classics Book Tag

Blog Post #3

Hello my fellow bookworms I spotted this short and fun meme over at bookarahma, and as I’m a member of The Classics Club it seemed perfect for me.

1. An overhyped classic you really didn’t like:

I didn’t so much not like the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë but the character of Jane, while I found her interesting I also found her really frustrating. The hype probably didn’t help though as it built my expectations up higher.

2. Favourite time period to read about:

It is hard to pick one period as I generally love reading about the past. I will go for Victorian though because quite a few of my choices, there’s a lot of Dickens, for the club are set or were written then.

3. Favourite fairy-tale:

Growing up my favourite fairy tale was always The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

4. What is the classic you still, most embarrassingly, haven’t read yet:

Before joining the club I was generally embarrassed with how few classics I had read. I feel I got a severely limited selection to read at school, especially of British classics. I have made good progress but I am a little sad I still haven’t got round to Mansfield Park by Jane Austen yet.

5. Top 5 classics you would like to read (soon):

  1. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
  2. The Tenant of Wildfel Hall by Anne Brontë
  3. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  4. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  5. The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley

I own copies of all of these so really I have no excuse not to get round to them soon.

6. Favourite modern book/series based on a classic:

I thoroughly enjoyed P D James’ Death Comes to Pemberley, a crime sequel to Pride and Prejudice. Another interesting read was modern classic Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, a prequel to Jane Eyre.

7. Favourite movie/TV series adaptation of a classic:

There are so many to choose from! Those that stand out straight away are The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Sense and Sensibility (1995), Romeo + Juliet (1996), The Secret Garden (1993), and the BBC’s Emma (2009) and Bleak House (2005).

8. Worst movie/TV series adaptation of a classic:

I am sure I enjoyed it as a child but sadly as an adult I really couldn’t get through a re-watch of the BBC’s The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe (1988).

9. Favourite edition(s) you’d like to collect more classics from:

I have pretty Headline: Review copies of Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion by Jane Austen, and I would love to complete the set.

10. An underhyped classic you’d recommend to everyone:

I enjoyed Shirley by Charlotte Brontë, a lot her other work is over shadowed really by Jane Eyre which is a shame. I also found The Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat a thoroughly charming read too.

What is your favourite classic? What classics have you read recently? If you have done or go on to do this meme please let me know.

New Books: April 2015

New Books - April #1

Hello my fellow bookworms, here’s what goodies I have managed to add to my bookshelf and Kindle recently:

Guy Martin: My Autobiography by Guy Martin

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

I was lent all of these by a book loving, family friend. I have rather a soft spot for Guy Martin having watched and loved several of his TV shows on history, machines and speed so I hope I will also enjoy his autobiography. I have also recently enjoyed the two film adaptations of Veronica Roth’s Dystopian series so I am looking forward to reading these.

New Books - April #2

The Quarry by Iain Banks

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Blood on the Bayou by D J Donaldson

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Quarry and The Martian have been passed on to me now my father has read them. I sadly still haven’t read anything by Banks perhaps this could be my first and I’ve heard lots of good things about The Martian. Then I was lent The Miniaturist by my mother with glowing praise for how much she enjoyed it. And finally I received a copy of supernatural, crime Blood on the Bayou for my Kindle from the publishers

Have you read any of these? What new books are you excited about?

The Classics Club: Spin #9

The Classics Club #1

The 9th Classics Club Spin has arrived. Previous spins have gone really well for me so here’s hoping this spin goes just as well this time with a random selection from this list:

My Spin List:

  1. The Hound of the Baskervilles
  2. The Jungle Book
  3. Villette
  4. This Side of Paradise
  5. The Valley of Fear
  6. A Tale of Two Cities
  7. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  8. The Time Machine
  9. The Tenant of Wildfel Hall
  10. The Hound of the Baskervilles
  11. The Water-Babies
  12. Count of Monte Cristo
  13. This Side of Paradise
  14. The Sign of the Four
  15. Kidnapped
  16. Journey to the Center of the Earth
  17. War of the Worlds
  18. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  19. Little Dorrit
  20. David Copperfield

These are all books I already own a copy of to help get my to-be-read pile down. Most of this list is the same from the last spin with just a few additions and some repetitions to replace those I have read since then. Cheating perhaps slightly with the repetitions but this is a flexible event.

I am as always rather nervous and excited about which book I will end up reading! Wish me luck! I will post an update with my result when the spin number is announced on Monday 6th March 2015.

Are you taking part in the 9th Classics Club Spin?

Goodbye March, Hello April

March 2015

Hello my fellow bookworms, I hope you are all well? March has just flown by me! It was a mixed month for weather; with some extreme days of rain and days of bright sunshine. I did spend a lovely weekend on the south coast to celebrate Mother’s day with my mom and family, and took my dad to a great show for his birthday. With all that going on here is what I managed to read:

Fiction: 3     Non-Fiction: 2     Poetry: 0

I started the month off by finishing urban fantasy The World Below by Mike Phillips. A fun and light adventure underground which was a soothing read for my over worked mind. To keep my reading easy I next read the short story collection The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, my 30th read off my Classics Club list. Sadly the final collection of interesting short adventures for me to discover. A slower and more detailed read for me was paranormal romance A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I am not a huge romance fan but I loved all the historical and magical references. This is also my first read for the Once Upon a Time IX event.

Alongside these fictions I also read two non-fictions. First Napoleon Bonaparte: A Very Brief History by Mark Black, a short and interesting read about the infamous French general. Then to round the month off Christian non-fiction Beautiful Attitudes by Scott Evans, full thoughts still to be posted.

Pick of the Month: The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes

And those are just the books I finished. Through out the month I have been dipping in an out of epic historical non-fiction Rebellion by Peter Ackroyd. I’ve made good progress but still a long way to go. To continue my aim to always have a classic on the go after finishing Sherlock Holmes I picked up The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. I am also very close to finishing historical fiction Red Rose, White Rose by Joanna Hickson.

In April I am looking forward to more good reading, celebrating Easter, and getting two weeks off work.

What did you do and read in March?

Meme: Top 10 Childhood Books

Blog Post #2

This week over at the Broke and Bookish the theme for Top Ten Tuesday is ‘Top 10 Books From My Childhood (Or teen years) That I Would Love To Revisit’ . I liked this topic and had to give it a go. Here are my choices:

1. The Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton
While I read The Famous Five and some of The Secret Seven it was definitely this less well known fantasy series that caught my attention as a child.

2.The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

3. The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks
My father has copies of these which are from Brooks’ Original Shannara trilogy. While I enjoyed them as a child I spent too much time comparing them to Lord of the Rings. I would like to see if I would enjoy them even more now, and perhaps want to read more of the Shannara series.

4. What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge
I remember in primary school dressing up as Katy Carr for World Book Day but other than snippets I don’t have the greatest memory of this novel and it’s sequels which so captured me.

5. Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
An eccentric and delightful short story collection. I have found a real love for short stories recently so this could be a great re-read for me.

6. Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
I have fond memories of my favourite primary school teacher reading this delightful novel to my class.

7. Johnny Maxwell trilogy by Terry Pratchett
My love for Pratchett started young. I believe this was the first series by Pratchett I read which includes my favourite Johnny and the Bomb. I loved the mixture of family drama, fantasy, science fiction and history.

8. The Nome trilogy by Terry Pratchett
I loved the funny adventures of Truckers, Diggers and Wings. This is the series which most reminds me of Pratchett’s adult Discworld series. I borrowed both these trilogies from the library as a child. I would love to re-read and own my own copies of them now.

9. Village School by Miss Read
I have fond memories of my mother reading this to me at bedtime. A simple and detailed tale of day-to-day life which was wonderfully comforting before bed. I have read other novels from this series as an adult but I haven’t revisited this one.

10. Harry Potter series by J K Rowling
I have read all the instalments of this series as they came out, and while I have watched the films many times and even listened to some of the audiobooks I haven’t re-read any of the novels. I think this is because I adore the stories and characters but didn’t love Rowling’s writing style. I definitely will re-read them perhaps just need a bit more time.

Honourable mentions must go to The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis, and The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien. I loved all of these as a child but I have also regularly re-read them as an adult too.

Do you love some of my choices too? What childhood favourite would you like to revisit?