Author: Ethan Lou
Author: Ethan Lou
Author: Joanna Nell
What better time to pick up a read that isn't overly harsh or dramatic! The tea ladies of St Jude's all have their own story to tell. They are fairly simple, average people. They all have their own little 'issues'. But, this is still an easy, heart warming read.
I don't leave this book with much to think over - and it is kind of nice and refreshing.
I have enjoyed the simplicity of this read. I like that there are books like this out there; I think we all need them in our lives and on our bookcases.
So I leave you with a simple - worthy of reading message and the description so you can choose for yourself.
The Marjorie Marshall Memorial Cafeteria has been serving refreshments and raising money at the hospital for over fifty years, long after anybody can remember who Marjorie Marshall actually was. Staffed by successive generations of dedicated volunteers, the beloved cafeteria is known as much for offering a kind word and sympathetic ear (and often unsolicited life advice) as for its tea and buns.
Stalwart has worked her way up through the ranks to Manageress; has been late every day since she started as the cafeteria's newest recruit. She doesn't take her role as 'the intern' quite as seriously as Hilary would like but there's no doubt she brings a welcome pop of personality. Seventeen-year-old , the daughter of two successful surgeons, is volunteering during the school holidays because her mother thinks it will look good on her CV.
Chloe is at first bewildered by the two older women but soon realises they have a lot in common, not least that each bears a secret pain. When they discover the cafeteria is under threat of closure, this unlikely trio must band together to save it.
Rick Stein At Home: Recipes, Memories and Stories from a Food Lover's Kitchen
Author: Rick Stein
I decided last year that each town/city that I visited would put a book into my collection. When I went on a girls day out to Gore last month, I picked up Rick Stein At Home. I had no idea that when I told friends about my now cookbook, that they would tell me they watch him on TV. I was just adding to my collection on my memorable moments bookcase. There is no need for Pandora charms or jewellery items when you can have a new book to treasure.... unless there are gifts heading my way then by all means don't limit the jewellery choices!
Why did I choose Rick Stein At Home over all the other cookbooks on offer that day:
Author: Mij Kelly and Charles Fuge
Today I have a special guest with me. She is one of my great students and she is going to help me tell you what we think of 'Friendly Day':
What was the book about? The book is about friendly day which is a day when they are not mean.
What was your favourite part? The mouse longed for friendly day in her cave meanwhile outside the dog still cried sadly.
What was your favourite sentence? My favourite sentence in the whole book was 'He tricked the cat, but now he sat and longed for friendly day. Meanwhile outside, the dog still cried. The bear gave him a pat.'
Who is your favourite character? It is the kittens because they look really cute.
Did you like this book and why? Yes because it is a good book and the animals are friendly and kind.
Hooray - It's friendly day!
A day for sharing a day for caring, when everyone is nice, when cow reads snail a fairy tale and cats do NOT eat mice.
A warm tale full of friendship, love and hugs!
Thank you to my friend and student for her input and thoughts of 'Friendly Day'.
Author: Maeve Binchy
A lovely friend handed me this book thinking I might enjoy it. I looked at the 637 pages and put it beside my bed in a TBR pile 😄
It was by no means going to be a quick read!
A few weeks ago I looked at the book. Went to walk away. And, looked at the book again. The cover was yelling at me to read it. But.... 637 pages, was I ready to take on the mission.
I took up the challenge!
Wow, what a brilliant piece of literature. I struggled to put the book down. There was no time to scroll through my phone over the past couple of weeks, I was reading. I had a job to do. A challenge to complete.
The challenge quickly became finding time for everything else. Every five minutes free was more page turning. It was like watching a movie with ads, but the ads were the little interruptions that life gave me (somethings need done). I quickly sorted through the characters. Found the ones that I connected with, funnelled through the ones that I thought less highly of, and became a part of Tara Road. Every character had their part to play in the ups, downs, successes and failures. There are no side-line characters on Tara Road.
Then in walks Marilyn all the way from New England. She wants a quiet place to escape but she also found her place in Tara Road. None of us are immune from the happenings on Tara Road. You either become a part of Tara Road or you go home. I became a spectator. I had no chance of leaving once the pages were opened!
If you want good read with so many aspects of daily life touched upon, then Tara Road is for you. I am sure you will find a place for you within the pages and encounter characters that will remain a part of your literary mind for years after adventuring down Tara Road.
Ria and Marilyn have never met - they live thousands of miles apart, separated by the Atlantic Ocean: one in a big, war, Victorian house in Tara Road, Dublin, the other in a modern, open plan house in New England. Two more unlikely friends would be hard to find: Ria's life revolves around her family and friends, while Marilyn's reserve is born of grief. But when each needs a place to escape to, a house exchange seems an ideal solution.
Along with the borrowed houses come neighbours and friends, gossip and speculation as Ria and Marilyn swap lives for the summer...
I came across this woman this morning and I have to say I am impressed with this video. I have to check out the rest of her videos but this one is worth watching.
Some good points are made in this clip:
Okay.... I'm going to pop over and check out some of her other videos and see if I think she is worth of putting on my subscription list.... I will be back!
I'm back 😀
Most of her other clips aren't focused around books but there are some good informative clips on her channel. This one you will need to take a look into and see if Elena Taber has anything you are interested in. I for one though, think this clip is worth watching. It is very inspiring and has some good points.
Hidden on the old oak bookcase,
Sits a million words unseen,
Wondrous worlds not yet travelled,
Mysterious plots pleading, to be unravelled.
Endangered characters fret in flattened pages
Calling courageously when I pass,
Boldly battling inside the covers,
Extinction evident, if they remain undiscovered.
Alice still chases her White Rabbit,
While he stupidly stresses over time,
“I’m late, I’m late” I hear him squeal,
Is his world really that unreal?
One day I’ll sit upon a wishing chair,
And free each character as I read,
But I need my White Rabbit to sit still,
So I can stop, search beyond covers, and save them all.
Author: Richelle M.F.
Here we have a historical novel packed with historical snippets of New Zealand. I was very impressed by the way in which the author interwove this history. It gave me an appreciation of the historical time when the New Zealand wars loomed. What I really liked, was the ability to connect with the characters in way that enlightened the history that I am familiar with. I have watched documentaries, read books and been taught at school about New Zealand's history. But, to read a novel where the historical connections are interwoven with characters that seemed real, gave me a new depth of appreciation of the history that New Zealand is rich with. Although this is an 'historical novel' I felt that historical undercurrent was respectful and for this reason I recommend picking up this book.
Credit also needs to be given to the manner in which historical depth is written into Kitty's character and Amber's (the little girl whom Kitty...). I turned page after page, never let down by the continued strength of the characters and the plot of this novel. I have since purchased two more of Deborah Challinor's novels to add to my growing TBR pile.
This is a small review this time, but I think it is all needs. The characters and plot speak for themselves once you've opened the pages.
The second riveting instalment in The Smuggler's Wife series by one of our leading historical novelists. "She was Maori, aged anywhere between three and five years old. Her dirty, matted hair hung past her shoulders, and sweet, heart-shaped little face was filthy." When Kitty Farrell is offered a trinket by a street urchin, her implulsive response will change both of their lives forever. It is 1845, and after four years on the high seas with Rian, her wild Irish husband, she returns to the lawless Bay of Islands and a country at war. Kitty and Rian must battle to be reunited as they fight for their lives and watch friends and enemies alike succumb to the madness of war and the fatal seduction of hatred.
Author: Petronella McGovern
I went from trusting every character to not trusting anyone!
How can fours mums be the problem? There are four of them for goodness sake. Surely one would have seen something. I know how easy it is to be distracted while kids play but all the mums are there. One of them surely should have seen something if one of the mums were the problem!?
The teacher is a genuine good guy, it can't be the teacher!?
The mother is so anxious about getting back to her daughter, counting every minute that she is away. It can't be the mum, it just can't be the mum. I'm a mother and I hated being away from my kids when they were pre-schoolers.... it can't be the mum!?
The dad.... he's at work. It cant be him!?
But then, all the cracks show in every individual. The little hidden things begin to form cracks in my initial thinking. How can I go from trusting everyone; to hearing the reality of everyone's individual lives; to not trusting any of them. They all have issues! But, does that make them a suspect or even a bad person. Who doesn't have something that they keep hidden - even away from themselves - locked in the past. Can we judge people for simple past anything? Normally I wouldn't, but this novel got me thinking. There was a missing child 🙅
So, I made everyone a suspect! Guilty until proven innocent!
The ending was fantastic, not at all what I expected (you have to read it to find out).
How can a child disappear from under the care of four playgroup mums?
One Thursday morning, Lexie Parker dashes to the shop for biscuits, leaving Bella in the safe care of the other mums in the playgroup.
Six minutes later, Bella is gone.
Police and media descend on the tiny village of Merrigang on the edge of Canberra. Locals unite to search the dense bushland. But as the investigation continues, relationships start to fracture, online hate messages target Lexie, and the community is engulfed by fear.
Is Bella's disappearance connected to the angry protests at Parliament House. What secrets are the parents hiding? And why does a local teacher keep a photo of Bella in his lounge room?
What happened in those six minutes and where is Bella?
The clock is ticking...
This novel will keep you guessing to the very last twist.
Author: Liane Moriarty
Here is my first read for the New Year. It was a lovely Christmas present that was very exciting to receive - like any book that I get put in my hand. I also found myself landed in hospital, followed by a week of doing little but reading. Thank goodness I am a reader. Thank goodness I have Christmas presents to read.
So, what did I think of my first read of 2022?
Let's start by commenting that typing 2022 feels really weird!
Anyway, 'Apples Never Fall' is a gentle read. I really appreciated the angle which author took and that it wasn't the 'usual' outcome. There were the twists that accompany any missing person novel. There was the complexity of the mysterious house guest. There was the husband, who of course had to have been hiding something. Then there were the adult children, that could go through every emotion and argument to leave you questioning.
It became more than a missing person mystery to solve. But for those of you who have followed my blog/reviews, you will know that I like to dig deeper than the plot and you will not be surprised. In this novel we are given, a mother, father (husband and wife), four adult children with different personalities and hang ups, a mysterious house guest, and a tennis profession that plays into every dimension of the story. The way in which the life of each character is interwoven to their personalities via the connections of each individual (made prior to the present) is interesting, dynamic and important. It grabbed my interest. Especially when the details of the mysterious house guest came to light. I could say "I saw it all coming" but did I? I don't think I did. I should have!
Every character influenced the final outcome. Every one of us influence final outcomes without realising it. Most of the time we never see the connections. We don't stop to think what influence today has made on any minor human being in our presence that day. But this novel connected this very idea and bundled it up into a really good read.
Then the ending was brilliant! I was left satisfied with an outcome and impressed by the weaving together of an ending in which, I closed the book feeling it was complete.
From the outside, the Delaneys appear to be an enviably contented family. Even after all these years, former tennis coaches Joy and Stan are still winning tournaments, and now they've sold the family business they have all the time in the world to learn how to 'relax'. Their four adult children are busy living their own lives, and while it could be argued they never quite achieved their destinies, no-one ever says that out loud. But now Joy Delaney has disappeared and her children are re-examining their parents' marriage and their family history with fresh, frightened eyes. Is her disappearance related to their mysterious house guest from last year? Or were things never as rosy as they seemed in the Delaney household?
If you want a great little read with some fantastic characters then this is for you. It is classified as Juvenile fiction but I loved every second of it.
It started a little slow and I found it flicked around the place, from chapter to chapter, and I had to think of where the story was heading but it didn't take long to get the flow things moving along. By the middle of the book I thought we were well on the way of bringing everyone together and hence the ending - so I got a little excited, forming the climax in my head. I was pleasantly surprised when they all did come together and the climax highlighted the source of the story - sorrow.
Sometimes books begin to sound the same, one after another, with the same outcomes. This is one of the first books I've read that bring to play outcomes from hidden sorrow. I found it really interesting and thought it an important concept to be written about and discussed in such a unique way. This is a great way of forming talking points over where sorrow can lead when hidden and allowed to hibernate in our inner being.
It is worthy of reading with our young ones and forming a discussion around.
A young girl raised by a witch, a swamp monster, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon must unlock the dangerous magic buried deep inside her in this epic coming-of-age fairy tale from the highly acclaimed author of The Witch's Boy. Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule--but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her--even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she's always known. The acclaimed author of The Witch's Boy has created another epic coming-of-age fairy tale destined to become a modern classic.
Author: Garth Nix
Read by: Marissa Calin
I don't even how to being explaining the journey I took within these pages. I feel like the writer (Garth Nix) had so many ideas that just had to be put on paper and he bundled them all up and scattered them though out The Left Handed Booksellers of London. It went from one concept to next and I had to constantly try to keep up with all the new ideas.
I really enjoyed it.
I liked the journey through the reality of London on one page, to a fantasy world on the next, and back to London. I didn't find a lot of significance in the importance of the left handed and right handed concept of the novel but it did bring the magical presence into being within the plot. Rather instead, I enjoyed the mystery behind Susan's father and the link to her mother (of whom I would liked to have been developed more rather than the dusting of knowledge we are given about her). Who was her father? Where was her father? And what did this all have to do with everything and everyone? Yes - that's what kept me reading. Splatter in the magical elements of the characters and you have quite a good read.
Even though I found there were a lot of ideas floating within the pages, it pleasantly enjoyable. It's quite good to walk the pages of a novel with the characters, and have no expectancy rather than relaxing and enjoying the story. This was one those books for me. There was just enough crime, mystery, fantasy, joy, heartbreak and reality, to balance the ideas nicely.
A Slightly alternate London in 1983, Susan Arkshaw is looking for her father, a man she has never met. Crime boss Frank Thringley might be able to help her, but Susan doesn't get time to ask Frank any questions before he is turned to dust by the prick of a silver hatpin in the hands of the outrageously attractive Merlin.
Merlin is a young left-handed bookseller (one of the fighting ones), who with the right-handed booksellers magical beings who police the mythic and legendary Old World when it intrudes on the modern world, in addition to running several bookshops.
Susan's search for her father begins with her mother's possibly misremembered or misspelt surnames, a reading room ticket, and a silver cigarette case engraved with something that might be a coat of arms.
Merlin has a request of his own, to find the Old World entity who used ordinary criminals to kill his mother. As he and his sister, the right-handed bookseller Vivien, tread in the path of a botched or covered-up police investigation from years past, they find this quest strangely overlaps with Susan's. Who or what was her father? Susan, Merlin and Vivien must find out, as the Old World erupts dangerously into the New.
Sophie's World ~ A novel about the history of philosophy
Author Jostein Gaarder
I am left amazed with the information this books carries inside. I was taken on journey through the history of philosophy from the great Myths to the most recent of days. I was continually amazed at what I was reading. I have always enjoyed educational philosophy but cannot say that I have delved deeply into all the philosophers that Jostein Gaardern has presented me with now. I read with a notebook beside me, jotting down all that I wanted to look deeper into. The great minds of the past are interesting, they are people who dared to think! Even more so they dared to speak and write their philosophical ideas to the rest of the world.
Here is a list of some of the chapters....
See! A history lesson right inside a 'living book'!
Then to add to the joy of reading about all these philosophies you are given a novel about Sophie, and Hilde comes to the mystery too. Who is Hilde? When you find out you will be questioning who is Sophie. Quite a twist, to say the least 💁
I have only one comment to add. I was expecting more from the ending. I had all these great ideas about how the story was going to end but not the one that it ended on. None the less, I would read it again just for the historical commentary that I journeyed through in reading it.
A page-turning novel that is also an exploration of the great philosophical concepts of Western thought, Sophie's World has fired the imagination of readers all over the world, with more than twenty million copies in print.
One day fourteen-year-old Sophie Amundsen comes home from school to find in her mailbox two notes, with one question on each: Who are you? and Where does the world come from? From that irresistible beginning, Sophie becomes obsessed with questions that take her far beyond what she knows of her Norwegian village. Through those letters, she enrols in a kind of correspondence course, covering Socrates to Sartre, with a mysterious philosopher, while receiving letters addressed to another girl. Who is Hilde? And why does her mail keep turning up? To unravel this riddle, Sophie must use the philosophy she is learning--but the truth turns out to be far more complicated than she could have imagined.
In just 96 pages George Orwell packs a punch not only at political influences of his time but at people and human nature. I am going to give you the historical information taken from the Benet's Readers Encyclopedia first, so that I respect the writing of George Orwell. Then I am going to give you some of the things that made me stop and think. They aren't political findings - I'm here to encourage you to read and think, not give views religiously or politically. This made me think more about how we as individuals do similar things to each other.
So anyway.... First.... Benet's will inform us:
Orewell, George (Pen name of Eric Arthur Blair, 1903-1950). English Novelist, essayist, and critic. An independent socialist in adult life, Orwell was born in India, where his father was in the civil service. He won a scholarship to Eton but was financially unable to go on to Oxford or Cambridge. Instead he spent five years with the Imperial Police in Burma (1922-27) Much of his early work was at least partly autobiographical. ... After that point, Orwell said that all his writings, both fictional and essays, were directed against totalitarianism in all forms. This commitment is manifested in his two best-known novel, ANIMAL FARM and 1984. Taken from: "Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, A Completely Revised and Updated Edition of the Classic Encyclopedia of World Literature. 4th Edition. Harper Collins Publishers. pg762"
Now to my thoughts....
Beyond the historical influences.
We start with a little farm. I thought it reminded me of the movie 'Barnyard'. The animals held their meetings and had plenty to say about the farmer. It seemed like a normal sort of farm apart from talking animals.
The animals wanted better. Sounds like most human beings. A "the grass is always greener on the other side scenario.
Then we start to see the animals as they truly are. They think they are better, well some do and some are just following the crowd. They actually had a point.
We all have a point. Our side of the argument. But is it always right? To the individual, most likely yes.
Let's take our ideas now to social media.
Let's make everyone believe our side. After all we can look pretty good on social media. We can tell our side of anything. We can look any way we want.
Now back to the animals. They managed to drag down animals that weren't even there; that couldn't have done what was accused. But everyone believed what they wanted to believe.
Now back to us.
Are you getting idea?
We can be as uplifting or as nasty as we like out there. There are options that were not available in the 1940's, to show what we think and feel about anything. Even things we know nothing about. This story has so many talking points beyond the political. It shows us how one thing leads to the next and how how everything is effecting more than the individual.
Maybe we should all take a minute to little look at our own little world. Maybe even our little 'bubbles' and see just how much we are effecting or influencing each other. Is it for own good or everyone's? Sometimes our intentions are good. I am sure the animals started off with good intentions. Just ensure that 'power' doesn't over take.... I don't know.... ?
I hope you can see that this is a classic that has been reading material in many class rooms over the past decades. We can still ask questions and they can be more than political. We can ask questions of ourselves and how we do life in the 21 century and how we are treating those closest to us.
'All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.'
Revolution is in the air at Manor Farm after of Major, a prize boar, tells the other animals about his dream of freedom and teaches them to sing 'Beasts of England' Mr Jones, the drunken farmer, is deposed and a committee of pigs takes over the running of the farm. The animals are taught to read and write, but the dream turns sour, the puges begin and those in charge come more and more to resemble their oppressors.
Orwell's allegory of the Soviet revolution remains as lucid and compelling as ever. In beautifully clear prose, he gives us a vivid gallery of characters and a fable that conveys the truth about how we are manipulated through language and the impossibility of finding heaven on earth.
Author: Rachel Caine
The Great Library series, fantastic!
I often avoid trilogies because I get to the third book, find myself side tracked by another 'want to read', and forget to go back to the trilogy. By the time I get back to the third book, I need to re-read the first one, hence I know this about myself and I avoid the problem.
Not the case with this series! I devoured all five of the books. I longed for the next book in the series to be returned to the library so I could have it in my hands. I flicked from page to page as though I was one of the characters needing read on just to save lives and the world. The plot was a climatic page turner and every avenue that could have been turned was turned. Each book continued the plot with ease but remained unique to the previous one, making my need to continue even more necessary.
I could ramble about this series for hours! Honestly! Ask anyone that met me for a coffee or visited while I was taking my journey through these pages. They will tell you the whole story line - without having read a page 😄
So does this series come with my recommendation? You guessed it.... of course it does!
If you want to know a little more about these, rachelcaine.com has done a brilliant job of highlighting her series, including trailers. Well worth taking a look at her site. I will give you the descriptions of each book, and then you can do the rest of the work by exploring the world of The Great Library that lies, awaiting you, in each book.
Ink and Bone
Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library of Alexandria is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly--but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden. Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family. Jess has been sent to be his family's spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library's service. When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe knowledge is more valuable than any human life--and soon both heretics and books will burn..."
Paper and Fire
In Ink and Bone, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine introduced a world where knowledge is power, and power corrupts absolutely. Now she continues the story of those who dare to defy the Great Library--and rewrite history ... With an iron fist, the Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion and in the name of the greater good forbidding the personal ownership of books. Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like what he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower, doomed to a life apart from everything she knows. Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library's deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London. But Jess's home isn't safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon Jess must choose between his friends, his family, and the Library, which is willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control
Ash and Quill
Held prisoner by the Burner forces in Philadelphia, Jess and his friends struggle to stay alive in the face of threats from both sides ...but a stunning escape guarantees worse is coming. The Library now means to stop them by any means necessary, and they'll have to make dangerous allies and difficult choices to stay alive. They have only two choices: face the might of the Great Library head on, or be erased from life, and the history of the world, for ever.
Smoke and Iron
Sword and Pen
The corrupt leadership of the Great Library has fallen. But with the Archivist plotting his return to power, and the Library under siege from outside empires and kingdoms, its future is uncertain. Jess Brightwell and his friends must come together as never before, to forge a new future for the Great Library...or see everything it stood for crumble.
This was available from: Book Depository
Descriptions taken from: Invercargill City Libraries and Archives (ilibrary.co.nz)