Tag Archives: reading

Books I read in March and April.

Sorry this post is so late, I think I have discovered book reviews are not my favourite thing to write! Really didn’t get many books read in March and April , though I did enjoy the five books I did sit down with. Here’s a short recap of my reading material. 😊

Tom’s Midnight Garden ~ Phillipa Pearce (1958). I found a copy of this children’s classic in a charity book sale and thought I would give it a go as I remember owning Phillipa Pearce’s ‘ The Battle Of Bubble & Squeek ‘ as a girl. I’m so glad I did as Midnight Garden is such a magical tale. Tom goes to stay with his very dull aunt and uncle over the summer holidays , so not to catch the measles his brother has so inconveniently caught. They live in a boring old manor house which has been converted into flats, there isn’t even a garden to play in much to Toms disappointment. The only unusual thing in the whole house is as old Grandfather clock in the communal hallway which ominously strikes a 13th time every night. A restless Tom investigates and finds the extra hour takes him back in time to when the manor house was one residence with a huge garden and is home to a lonely little girl called Hattie. Over the summer Tom meets Hattie in the garden most nights, only to find the time shifting as Hattie grows up. A children’s adventure fantasy that adults can enjoy too. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

111 Places In The Lake District That You Shouldn’t Miss ~ Solange Berchemin (2019). Apparently there’s a whole range of 111 Places guides out right now, encouraging you to visit the more quirky and lesser known tourist attractions in various cities and areas. Lakeland is explored thoroughly in this handy guide which includes Postman Pat’s Valley, a nine metre stone that appears to defy gravity, the home to the world’s largest colour pencil, a Giants grave and a Buddhist Temple. Directions, opening times and website info are all included. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

One False Move ~ Harlan Coben ( 1998). Another charity book sale purchase, this was a good detective yarn to get to grips with. Even though it is book 5 in a series, the likeable character of its protagonist sports agent/crime solver ‘ Myron Bolitar’ encourages the reader to hunt out the other novels. Also this book can easily be read as a stand alone story. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Lewis Man ~ Peter May ( 2014). The second in a crime trilogy set in the Outer Hebrides, Lewis Man revolves round an unidentified corpse found in a Lewis peat bog. Detective Fin MacLeod now residing on the island feels duty-bound to solve the mystery but as he digs deeper, long buried secrets threaten to endanger the people he loves. ⭐⭐⭐

The Lido ~ Libby Page ( 2018). I enjoyed this feel good tale about the importance of community and friendship. Two women from very different decades become friends through their enthusiasm to save their local Lido which is under threat of closure. Rosemary is 86 and all her happiest memories are wrapped up there whilst Kate is 26 and struggling with loneliness in a new city. A heart warming book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Have you read any good books recently?

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Books I read in January and February.

This year I am hoping to read 40 Books, a total I have set myself on Good Reads. I thought if I write a short description of each on my blog, this might encourage me to keep up with the challenge 🙂

The Black House ~ Peter May (2011). This is the first book in a bleak murder mystery trilogy set on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. My other half came across the series after we holidayed on another Hebridean Island North Uist last year. Fin Macleod is a homicide detective who returns to his childhood home of Lewis to investigate a grisly murder. Bereft by a recent personal tragedy of his own, Fin jumps at the chance of spending some time on the island. But as the detective hunts for the murderer, he finds himself being hunted too. The Black House flits between the past and the present and paints a picture of a rugged island with troubling secrets. I’m eager to delve into the next instalment. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

How to Be an Urban Birder ~ David Lindo ( 2018). I love how enthusiastic the author of this informative birding guide is. After seeing him promoting the book on Breakfast telly, I was delighted when Wil bought it me for my birthday back in November. Lindo’s motto is ‘Look Up!’ and this is certainly as true of our towns and cities as anywhere in Britain when it comes to spotting birdlife. If you imagine that urban buildings are cliffs ( they could be homes to peregrines) and rooftops are viewing platforms ( excellent bases for watching migrating species) then you get the idea. This book covers the best locations to look for birds in towns and cities and is packed full of photos , illustrations and useful tips.⭐⭐⭐⭐

The prime of Miss Jean Brodie ~ Muriel Spark ( 1961). I picked this renowned Scottish Classic up whilst away for a weekend in Edinburgh. Jean Brodie is an unconventional school teacher in 1930s Edinburgh. In a subtle almost sinister way she sets about grooming six of her pupils to become almost mini clones of herself. The book was made into a 1969 film starring Maggie Smith. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Dear Mrs Bird ~ A J Pearce ( 2018). Ahh I loved this story, set during blitz torn London in World War 2. Perhaps my favourite of the books I’ve read this year so far. Our heroine is Emmy who takes a job as a newspaper reporter , but due to a misunderstanding she is actually employed as lowly assistant to no nonsense ( and very unsympathetic ) Agony aunt Mrs Bird. Emmy takes it upon herself to answer the letters Mrs Bird discards. A light hearted but also sometimes heart breaking read. I hope there is a sequel. ❤️⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock ~ Imogen Hermes Gowar ( 2018). Who can resist a novel with mermaid in the title. Not me! A lonely childless widower and a high class ,but down on her luck courtesan’s paths become entwined, through the discovery of a mermaid. This is a discriptive historical novel set in 18th Century London , with a scaly touch of the supernatural. Although I was eager to see how the book would end, I did not find myself warming to the characters, some of whose stories seemed to end… unfinished. ⭐⭐⭐

Nightingale Wood ~ Stella Gibbons ( 1938). It seems that the esteemed writer of Cold Comfort Farm actually wrote shelve loads of books, most out of print until recent times. Nightingale Wood is billed as a modern version of Cinderella ~ modern in the thirties that is, when it was written. Viola is our Cinderella, a young widow now living with her stuffy in-laws. Her father in law rules the roost and his two daughters are dying of boredom. One wants a dog and the other wants the chauffeur. Viola herself falls for a dashing young man who lives in the big house through the woods, but his intentions arent exactly honourable. This book isn’t just a fluffy love story, it’s an observation of how the restrictions of sex and class in the thirties shaped everyday life. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

June ~ Photo An Hour.

Every so often I remember to join in with #photoanhour on Instagram, and yesterday was one of those days. The concept is simple. Just take one photo of whatever your doing every hour and join in with the hashtag #photoanhour. Either Janey or Louisa chooses the date each month.

8am. Wake up to a damp day. So crumpets are a yummy breakfast treat.
9am. Out and about with this guy. 🙂
10am. Looking round the market in my hometown of Clitheroe.
11am. A few jobs done so shelter from the rain in Escape Coffee Bar. I love the fresh mint tea here ( healthy) and the choolate dipped granola bars. Not so healthy!
12 Noon. Chillin at home with the pets. 🐶🐱
1pm. Catching up on some telly. Hidden is a welsh detective drama and is pretty good. Reminds me a little of Hinterland..
2pm. And still relaxing….😄
3pm. Out with Hugo again. We had planned to walk along the river to a neighbouring village. But it began bucketing down so we stuck to Brungerly park instead.
4pm. Had a shower to get warm after a soaking in the rain.
5pm. Filling in my Nature Diary. I am recording what wildlife I see on my walks every day. I have got quite addicted to it. 🦋🌹
6pm. The Big Bang Theory is on TV as usual. 🙂
7pm. Heres a Manchester Tart I bought on the market earlier. 😁
10pm. Totally missed the past couple of hours photos. We were watching a film. I then had the choice of starting one of these 3 books. Which one do you think I picked?

Thanks for dropping by. X

Sunday Sevens 29th January 2017. 

Hi this is my first Sunday Sevens of 2017!  Here is what I have been up to in the last week.

Books Read in January.

I have been on a roll reading this month. Three of the above were Christmas presents and all four books I have given solid 4 ☆☆☆☆ on Good Reads. A whimsical romance with books, a quirky story about a young adventuress who doesn’t recall her adventures, a laugh out loud romp with our favourite singleton Bridget and and an interesting novel about the reintroduction of wolves into Northern England. All good.

Derwent Water Morning light.
Castlerigg Stone Circle.

Last weekend was spent enjoying a mini break in The Lake District. We stopped in a cosy cottage in Keswick with our dog Hugo.Keswick has been voted ‘Most Dog-friendly town’ several years on the run. More about that coming soon. The above pictures show reflections in beautiful Derwentwater and the nearby ancient Castlerigg Stone Circle with its mountainous backdrop.

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Stella the Tabby.

On the way home from Cumbria we dropped by a Yorkshire village called Clapham and I met the proprietor of a local vintage shop, who was actually a tabby cat called Stella. 🙂

New Mugs!

 

Whilst I was away I bought two new mugs from a shop in Keswick called  Love The Lakes. Mine is the one with the sheep on. 🙂

 

 

Stairway to heaven. Erm not yet!

This weekends job is lots of sanding and getting the stairs and landing ready for decorating and a new carpet. I can’t claim that I have done much to help as Wil does not trust me with a paint brush! To speed up proceedings Mr Hugo has decamped to a boarding kennels for the weekend. It is really wierd without him. 😦

Happy Chinese New year. 🙂

After lots of decorating prep we stayed in with a Chinese ( do you like my dragon puppet? ) and watched anti-superhero film ‘Deadpool’. Quite amusing!

How was your week?

Blog Birthday Giveaway……Revealed. :)

It’s time to pick the winner of my Blog Birthday Giveaway!  

Up for grabs is a delightful ceramic seahorse tag made by the lovely Lisa at Tile Productions

  and my recently read copy of a book I enjoyed called ‘A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding’ , set  in Japan before and after World War 2.

Thank you so much for all your lovely blog birthday greetings and comments. I really appreciate them.♡♡

I wrote down the names of everyone who commented and placed them in a teacup. I gave it a good shake and looked round for someone to do the honors. Yep I had to ask the other half!

And the winner is………….

It is you Julie W. I will be in touch!!

Thanks again everybody. I have enjoyed reading all your blogging comments. :))

Sunday Sevens ~ 13th March.

I thought I would join in with Sunday Sevens again and show you 7 pictures from my week. Sunday Sevens was thought up by Natalie at Threads And Bobbins 🙂coombe abbey 167

1.Last Sunday we made our way home from our weekend in Warwickshire. We took a detour through the lovely Peak District. The fields and hills were covered in snow and this is a typical view from the car window, after we left the picturesque town of Bakewell.

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2. We had a little mooch round Bakewell which is famous for it’s scrumptious Bakewell Tarts. WE had to buy a couple of course! If you have never tried one you are missing out.Delicious Almond tarts with a hidden layer of raspberry jam, they tasted all the better for eating them in Bakewell. 🙂

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3. Took this photo of my sis, her hubby and my other half outside the Bakewell Pudding Parlour. What did we like about Bakewell?  The lovely buildings, the plentiful puddings…and the fact that it is a very dog friendly town. We saw all sorts of shapes and sizes and different breeds.Wil and I may bring Hugo to Derbyshire camping in the summer.Another place to add to the list!

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4. On Monday I was given this cute pink heart parcel full of chocolate bunnies off my little God daughter Bronte. A sort of alternative Mother’s day/ Easter present I think. 🙂

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5. My February  Foodie Penpal Parcel arrived a little late from Kerri. I can’t blame her.The baby she was expecting came early! Anyway I have been enjoying sampling the fab treats she sent me all week. 🙂

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6. Hugo is back on off lead exercise. Phew! His stitches are out ( He has had the snip) so he’s been raring to run round ever since his operation. This picture was taken about half an hour after three of us had to hold him down at the vets whilst the poor veterinary nurse (who had a slipped disc) took out his one remaining stitch. The little beggar had pulled the rest out himself.Ouch! Anyway you should see him bomb around the fields like a mad thing now. The op has not calmed him down at all!

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7. I finally read To Kill A Mocking-Bird by Harper Lee. And I enjoyed it. I  loved the warmth and humour in the story most of all ( told from Scout’s point of view) although it tackles some serious issues such as racism, class and female equality . Quietly considering whether I should read the recently released Go set A Watchman or leave the story be. Have you read it?

Thanks for dropping by.x

 

 

 

All I Want For Christmas Book Tag.

I saw this fun Christmas Tag over at The Little Contemporary Corner  and thought I would have a go. I tag anyone who wants to join in with the fun.:)

Which fictional character would you like Santa to leave under your Christmas Tree?  The Mad Hatter from Alice In Wonderland.He knows how to throw a good Tea Party. 🙂

Which character would you like to kiss under the mistletoe?  The viking vampire Eric Northman from the Southern Vampire mysteries by Charlaine Harris. 😉

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What are the top five books on your Christmas list for Santa?  A few books I would like to find in my stocking include the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Almost famous women stories by Megan Mayhew Bergman,Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt,  The Cat by Colette and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.

It’s Secret Santa at Hogworts, what would you most like to receive?  The Invisibility Cloak of course.

You get to spend the day with the characters and movie adaptation actors from one fandom, what do you pick?  I would choose the stars of Bridget Jones diary ( I fancied myself as a Ms Jones in my single days and loved the book) , we could have the blue soup dinner party at Bridgets flat. 🙂

What fictional animal would you like to replace Rudolph and be able to meet on the roof?   Aslan from ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’.

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You invite 10 fictional characters to your new year eve party, who do you pick? 

. Holly Golightly ( Breakfast at Tiffany’s).

.Dorian Grey ( The Picture of Dorian Grey).

.Cheshire Cat ( Alice in Wonderland).

.Ebeneezer Scrooge ( A Christmas Carol) after he finds he does actually love everyone.

.Miss Havisham ( Great Expectations).

.Mr Darcy ( Pride and Prejudice).

.Bridget Jones ( Bridget Jones Diary).

.Edward Cullen ( twilight).

.Hermione Granger ( Harry Potter books).

.Mary Poppins.

What character would make a good Santa ?  Ebeneezer Scrooge!

Merry Christmas!