Friday, 3 June 2022

The Smartest Giant in Town

 Authors: Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler

ISBN: 139781529072495

Hi Everyone

Today I have a special guest - one of my students who for privacy reasons I cannot give you her name but I can assure you she is a very hard worker who likes reading, writing and maths along with spending time colouring in.

What is this book about?

The Giant helps the animals and then the animals help him back by giving him presents which are lots of clothes.

Explain where the scene is set?

He is all over the place and he was in the town.

What happened that you enjoyed the most?

He helped all the animals and got stuff from the animals

Who were your favourite characters?

My favourite characters are the fox and the giraffe, the dog and the bunny. The illustrations match well with the characters.

What did you enjoy the most about this book?

He bought himself new clothes and he found some clothes including some sandals in a bag on the side of the road.

We also found this on Youtube.  Take a look, you can listen to the story here or purchase the book, it will be worth purchasing for your library.

Thanks to Youtube - Storyvison Studios UK


George is fed up with being scruffy. It's time for a new look and soon he's the smartest giant in town - that is until he bumps into some animals who need his help...  and his clothes!

Take a look at some early drawings of George and his friends by illustrator Alex Scheffler, and read all about how Julia Donaldson came up with the idea for the story in this special 20th anniversary edition of the bestselling classic.

Happy Reading

Private Tutoring Link

Monday, 23 May 2022

In the Mouth of the Wolf

Author: Micheal Morpurgo,     Read by: Jim Broadbent

Duration: 1hour 38 minutes

ISBN: 9780008316198

Hi Everyone

I am highly impressed by the reading of 'In the mouth of the wolf'. This book is classed as a juvenile reader which is where my interest in the content comes to hand.  I am not sure if it is the narration or the story that has impacted me, or maybe it is the combination.  

The narrator is fantastic and is bring across the message enclosed. His voice sounds the right age to fit the purpose. There have been many occasions, in my audiobook journey, that the narrator is not the correct person for the message within the novel. But this time around it was perfect.  I got the impression I was listening to the actual storyteller! You find out in the last section who the story was about and that also sparked my interest.

As for the plot. I am left speechless. This man's story is told with perfection for the young reader. Although, it is also very timely and important that this is read by all ages. There was no watering down of the information and I found it to be written in such a way that there was respect for the main character/person but the importance of his story was still well told.  

I have a couple of books on my bookcase by Michael Morpurgo which I have been meaning to read. Now I know that I will be opening those titles and many more written by Michael Morpurgo and I understand the popularity of his titles.


Francis Cammaerts, Jim Broadbent and Michael Morpurgo happen to be all part of the same family so this production is a very special collaboration bringing family members’ voices to life.

Francis and Pieter are brothers. As the shadow of one war lingers, and the rumbles of another approach, the brothers argue. Francis is a fierce pacifist, while Pieter signs up to fight. What happens next will change the course of Francis’s life forever… and throw him into the mouth of the wolf.

Happy reading

Private Tutoring Link

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Field Notes From a Pandemic

 Author: Ethan Lou

ISBN: 9780771029974

Hi Everyone

I first came upon this book last year, I avoided it almost as much as I did the pandemic itself. I sighed at the need to read a novel on Covid-19 when we were still in living it.  My ignorance came from knowing little about living with the virus.  

Up until this year (2022) my country was one of the few living life as though the virus was 'almost' nonexistent. We had experienced a small out break in 2020 but all come together in an 'almost' mutual lock down that lasted around six weeks for most of us.  We had turned to 'zoom connections', put teddy bears in windows for the kids to count while out on their walks, and panic bought enough toilet paper for our families to all smile our way through our minor lock down.  There were a number of households that had issues (we are all human after all) but for the majority lock down was something we were all doing for the good of our country.  With lock down over and the borders closed, those entering the country were placed in hotels set aside for 'managed isolation', then they too could join the rest of us in enjoying a life that wasn't dominated by the virus.  We has supply chain issues and other things that slowed down what we knew as 'normal' but we were mostly surviving the pandemic quietly.

Omicron changed all that for our small beautiful country and now we are living through our first major reality of Covid-19.  We are no longer separate from the world in the battle against keeping our families healthy.  We once again dived into survival mode and vaccinated an extra large percentage of the country before reality was set upon us and the virus let loose in every community around our country.  We are doing great in reality. We have few hospitalizations and deaths in comparison to the world beyond our boarders. 

Once again I came upon Field Notes From a Pandemic.  This time I wanted to know what the rest of the world had seen and experienced beyond what our media and social media had shown.  I became interested in hearing the voice of a survivor outside my small world. I listened to this on audio book and I did so with intention.  I wanted to hear the voice of the author who read his own story of traveling in the first few days/weeks/months of the a pandemic like none other seen by my generation.

I found myself interested in his story.  I also listened to the stories of the elderly, who can remember stories told by their grandparents and parents of the family destruction from the Spanish Flu.  Until the past two years I had never heard their stories - these were my ancestors, many of which had died. These stories had been packed away, not forgotten but not spoken of either.  I am pleased to have finally heard their stories.  I am also pleased that I have listened to this young mans story.  In some way we will all have a story to tell to future generations.  Will they listen? Did we listen? Will we listen again in the future? Or will become complacent again one day?

We are human. I am human. I am learning to listen to other peoples stories.  We live through things together, yet separated.  In some ways this pandemic has shown us that our world is rather small.

This young man's story is worthy of being read. 


Visiting Beijing in January to see his dying grandfather, Canadian journalist Ethan Lou unknowingly walks into a state under siege. In his journey out of China and into other hot zones in Asia and Europe, he finds himself witnessing the very earliest stages of a virus that will forever change the world as we know it. Lou argues that Coronavirus will have a far greater impact than SARS, for example, simply because China is now many more times integrated with the increasingly interconnected world. Over decades, globalization has crafted a world painfully sensitive and susceptible to shocks such as this pandemic. A crisis like it has thus been long overdue--and we have yet to see it unfold fully. In our integrated world, events that may previously be isolated now ripple farther and wider and in ways we do not expect and cannot foresee. We have not seen the worst, and if and when we outlast this pandemic, nothing will ever be the same--not just healthcare systems but also economies, politics and culture. Decisions now--or indecisions--will shape and define the world for decades. These ideas are fleshed out through the virus's spawning and how it spread, the unprecedented measures to contain it and an examination of past pandemics and other crises and how they shaped the world--and an argument for why this one's different. Lou shows how drastically the virus has transformed the world and charts the greater and more radical shifts to come. His ideas and arguments are framed around his journey around the world, whose path the virus seemed to follow until he landed safely in quarantine in a small town in Germany where he was able to take stock and start telling his story.

Happy Reading

Monday, 25 April 2022

The Tea Ladies of St Jude's Hospital

 Author: Joanna Nell

ISBN: 9780733642906

Hi Everyone

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 Hilary has worked her way up through the ranks to Manageress; Joy 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 Chloe, 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

Happy reading

Follow me on:

Private Tutoring Link

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Rick Stein At Home

Rick Stein At Home: Recipes, Memories and Stories from a Food Lover's Kitchen

Author: Rick Stein

ISBN: 978-1-78594-708-7

Hi Everyone

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:

  1. I judge books by their covers and this one hooked my in.
  2. It is hard cover
  3. I like cookbooks that are easily left on a coffee table and displayable
  4. Plenty of pictures (cookbooks must have pictures or I won't purchase them)
  5. More than 100 recipes!
  6. The ingredients looked like I would have them in my cupboard
  7. The extra detail - information and stories that make it more than a recipe book
Missing from this book:
  1. A ribbon
  2. Let's make that two ribbons - I like a couple of ribbons so I can book mark pages that I am cooking. If there are two ribbons then I can easily flick between the pages while cooking one meal
Now let me show you a couple of the pictures, that way you can see what won me over:

Apple charlotte
This is the best apple charlotte recipe I have ever made!
It is now a family favourite

Beef & Macaroni pie with cinnamon, red wine & kefalotiri cheese

Honestly, there is something for everyone!


Rick Stein has spent his life travelling the world in search of cooking perfection. Now he invites us into the rhythms and rituals of his home cooking, sharing over 100 of his favourite recipes - from updated classics to brand new dishes - along with unforgettable stories that celebrate ingredients, memories, family cooking moments and more.

Happy reading

Sunday, 3 April 2022

Friendly Day

 Author: Mij Kelly and Charles Fuge

ISBN: 9781444936018

Hi Everyone

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'.

Happy reading

Monday, 28 March 2022

Tara Road

 Author: Maeve Binchy

ISBN: 9780752826028

Hi Everyone

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...

Happy reading

Sunday, 20 March 2022

Youtuber of the month


Hi Everyone

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:

  • Try a Kindle - Tick - I love a book in my hand but there is a place for my Kindle too.
  • Try 'Libby' - Tick - Great resource for audio books. I didn't know that I could use Libby connected to my kindle!  I must look into this option.
  • Accountability partner - Tick - Find someone to share books with it makes the journey so much more fun.
  • Make notes - Tick - This so something I never used to do, but since I have started I get so much more out of what I am reading

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.

Happy reading

Thursday, 17 March 2022

Endangered Characters


Endangered Characters


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.

Wednesday, 16 February 2022


 Author: Deborah Challinor
ISBN: 9781869506322

Hi Everyone

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.

Happy Reading

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Six Minutes

 Author: Petronella McGovern

ISBN: 9781760875282

Hi Everyone

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.

Happy reading

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Apples Never Fall

 Author: Liane Moriarty

ISBN: 9781760785024

Hi Everyone

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?

Happy reading

This was available from:
Paperplus and Book depository

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Booktuber of the Month

Hi Everyone

It is time for another Booktuber to look into.  I have been following CarolynMarieReads for a while now and I enjoy all of her clips.  She is intelligent, bright and sweet.  I want highlight this clip in particular because she gives her opinion as to why children's literature is important, not only for the young but for all of us.  She has some very good points. 

I enjoy children's literature more every year.  I have fond memories of sitting 'on the mat' in primary school and being read aloud to.  I remember the Hobbit and The Wind in the Willows.  I think there will always be a place in my heart for children's literature hence my reasoning behind encouraging children to read.  Even when a child struggles to read - read to them.  We all need to know and keep a special place in this world for children's literature.  Carolyn will help you to see some of the qualities of children's literature in the above Youtube link.  Take a look at what she brings to the world of books.

Happy reading

Sunday, 21 November 2021

The Book Jumper

Author: Mechthild Glaser
ISBN: 978-1-250-14423-2

Hi Everyone

The concept behind this novel is fantastic. I want to be a book jumper!

When Amy Lennox visits her grandmother, she discovers the ability to book jump. What exactly does that entail? Well, she can go into the books and interact with the characters.  Just imagine that for one minute.  


Don't you want to be a book jumper?  

What would you tell some of the characters that you have read about? Now that is telling 😄😏😒😖

With being a book jumper there is the downside. Doesn't everything come with all angles?  For Amy, there was a bit of fixing up to be done. A bit of mystery to solve. A bit of background knowledge to discover along the way.  


This one comes with my high recommendations for any young adult reader, and for those of you that still enjoy books from every genre and age bracket. Don't let your reading ever be limited by your age.


Amy Lennox doesn't know quite what to expect when she and her mother pick up and leave Germany for Scotland, heading to her mother's childhood home of Lennox House on the island of Stormsay.

Amy's grandmother, Lady Mairead, insists that Amy must read while she resides at Lennox House - But not in the usual way. It turns out that Amy is a book jumper, able to leap into a story and interact with the world inside. As thrilling as Amy's new power is, it also brings danger: Someone is stealing from the books she visits, and that person may be after her life. Teaming up with fellow book jumper Will, Amy vows to get to the bottom of the thefts - at whatever costs.

Happy reading

Friday, 12 November 2021

The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Author: Kelly Barnhill
ISBN: 9871848126473

Hi Everyone,

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.

Happy Reading

Sunday, 7 November 2021

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London

 Author: Garth Nix

Read by: Marissa Calin

ISBN: 9780655698142

Hi Everyone,

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.

Happy Reading

Sunday, 31 October 2021

Sophie's World

 Sophie's World ~ A novel about the history of philosophy

Author Jostein Gaarder

ISBN: 978-0-374-53071-6

Hi Everyone

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....

  • Myths
  • Democritus
  • Fate - The fortune-teller
  • Socrates
  • Athens
  • Plato
  • Aristotle
  • Hellenism
  • The Middle Ages
  • The renaissance
  • The Baroque
  • Descartes
  • Spinoza
  • Locke
  • Hume
  • Berkeley
  • The Enlightenment
  • Kant
  • Romanticism
  • Hegel
  • Kierkegaard
  • Marx
  • Darwin
  • Freud
  • The Big Bang

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.

Happy Reading

Friday, 15 October 2021

Animal Farm

 George Orwell

ISBN: 978-1-78599-623-8

Hi Everyone

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.

Happy Reading