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  2. Currently Reading

    Recently I`m obssesed with Jane Austen. Read Emma, Sense and Sensebility, Mansfield Park and P&P in one Month)
  3. Today
  4. Currently Reading

    Just started Time's Convert by Deborah Harkness, Luna messaged me privately and pointed out that the ebook version was at that point in time just 99p and considering the last time I looked at it it was £9.99, I had decided (albeit reluctantly) to wait till it came out in paperback as if I was going to pay that kind of money I wanted something physical to show for it (plus I had the All Souls Trilogy in book book form), but with a deal like that I didn't think twice about getting it, it immediately leaped to the top of my TBR list and I started reading it on Tuesday and so far I am loving it.
  5. How do you choose your books?

    Back in the day, I got the majority of my books from charity shops, so I would just go in and mooch around the books browsing what they had, initially it would be if the title jumped out at me or if the cover attracted my attention, then I would read the blurb and if that heightened my interest I would read the first page and if I wanted to continue then I would buy it, if it was a subject which interested me (in the case of non-fiction books) was another factor. Now I tend to browse Amazon instead, I get a number of emails offering deals and the like and I will always have a look at what's on offer and I pretty much go by the same plan, title and cover, then I read the blurb and at that point I make the decision, sometimes I will download a free sample of the book if I am not totally convinced before buying. Very occasionally I will seek out a book if I have enjoyed a TV adaptation of it but more often than not it is the other way around and I watch the TV adaption after reading the book. If I have read something else by a particular author and enjoyed it I will gravitate towards another book by them, and have a little look. Another interesting point - I have also bought books from recommendations and reviews on here, yet funnily enough I don't take any notice of Amazon/Goodreads reviews, partly as I'm never sure if they are genuine or not, and I will only read these reviews after I have read a book and made my own mind up about it.
  6. I just bought/borrowed/received...

    I have bought the ebook version of Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones which is the 13th and final installment in the fabulous long running Charley Davidson series, which I found and 'binge read' last year, I pre-ordered it to arrive as soon as it was released which it just has been, earlier this week. I am currently reading something else but this has immediately been bumped to the top of my TBR list. Also recently bought: (all ebooks) The Black Mile by Mark Dawson, Doll House by John Hunt, Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes, Marking Time by April White (This was actually a free ebook so not holding my breath as to how good it is)
  7. Book Lists 2019

    Book List - Completed Books read in 2019, all first time reads, list does not include re-reads. Rating: *****5 stars - Brilliant, highly recommended, read it, read it now! ****4 stars - Very good, recommended, ***3 stars - A good enjoyable read, read it if you want to, **2 stars - It was ok, not totally sure about it so don't blame me if you think its rubbish *1 star - Not good, just about readable but not recommended No stars - Utter crap, don't bother - should never have been published! Fiction: The Liars Wife by Samantha Hayes*** Damien by J Kenner The Mitchells & O’Haras Trilogy by Kimberley Chambers - overall rating : ** (and that is being generous) The Feud by Kimberley Chambers**** The Traitor by Kimberley Chambers ** The Victim by Kimberley Chambers *
  8. what is everyone doing?

    It has been a bit of a dull week here, some of the dullness in our minds, so thought I would cheer us up by having a different kind of meal. I ordered delivery of Chinese food and it was a big success. Haven't had it in a couple of years and it was deliciously different from our normal fare. Had enough to enjoy it again tonight for dinner and there is still some left. You get good value for your dollar. Most veggies on the raw side, al dente, I think it's called, so it certainly isn't eat and run with this food.
  9. Yesterday
  10. Poetic Wanderings

    Thus, thus begin the yearly rites Are due to Pan on these bright nights; His morn now riseth and invites To sports, to dances, and delights: All envious and profane, away. This is the shepherds' holyday. Strew, strew the glad and smiling ground With every flower, yet not confound: The primrose drop, the spring's own spouse. Bright day's-eyes and the lips of cows; The garden-star, the queen of May, The rose, to crown the holyday. Drop, drop, you violets; change your hues Now red, now pale, as lovers use; And in your death go out as well As when you lived unto the smell: That from your odour all may say, This is the shepherds' holyday. Ben Jonson - 'The Shepherd's Holyday'
  11. The Shepherd, looking eastward, softly said, "Bright is thy veil, O Moon, as thou art bright!" Forthwith, that little cloud, in ether spread And penetrated all with tender light, She cast away, and showed her fulgent head Uncovered; dazzling the Beholder's sight As if to vindicate her beauty's right Her beauty thoughtlessly disparaged. Meanwhile that veil, removed or thrown aside, Went floating from her, darkening as it went; And a huge mass, to bury or to hide, Approached this glory of the firmament; Who meekly yields, and is obscured--content With one calm triumph of a modest pride. William Wordsworth
  12. Last week
  13. I just bought/borrowed/received...

    Crochet Step by Step: 20 Easy Projects. More than 100 Techniques and Crochet Patterns, Sally Harding
  14. The Mitchells & O Hara’s Trilogy by Kimberley Chambers This is a trilogy of stories which follows the feud of two families and their mutual hatred for each other over a number of years and how that feud gets passed on from one generation to the next. The story is overflowing with sometimes over the top stereotypes and there aren’t many characters in this story who are particularly likeable in any way. In fact the whole story itself is a stereotype, and so as such, for me personally, on paper it should be rubbish… but to begin with it wasn’t, it was oddly compelling, at times very funny and others quite shocking. Some of the characters are so absurd you can’t help but be drawn in to discover what they are going to do next, but as the books progressed the quality of the writing deteriorated to such an extent that what was once compelling became just irritating and in some parts ridiculous. On one side you have the Mitchells an underworld gangland family ruled by Harry Mitchell and his three sons Ronnie, Paulie and Eddie, Harry has morals, slightly skewed morals as he thinks nothing of killing someone in cold blood but at the same time he looks after those around him. Paulie is a yes man he does as he is told but he's not the brightest spark and he follows orders, Ronnie is a complete moron and a loose canon. Eddie despite being the youngest of the three appears to be the one who Harry favours as being the smart one. Then on the other is the O’Hara family a family of English Travellers who arrive on the scene, led by their patriarch Butch O Hara. The bad blood centres around an incident between Butch’s middle son Jimmy O’Hara and Harry’s son Eddie Mitchell. Book 1 – The Feud The Feud starts in the summer of 1970 and The O Hara family have arrived in London and are muscling in on the Mitchells who run protection rackets and other less than legal businesses and during an altercation in the pub where the Mitchells are sending the O’Hara’s a warning to back off, Eddie Mitchell gets his face slashed by Jimmy O’Hara. After this, Butch and Harry come to an agreement that the O’Hara’s will leave the area to stop any further escalation of the violence but a year down the line Butch’s sons return and start to cause trouble once more on Mitchell turf, this culminates in Harry shooting and wounding Butch in the foot for breaking the deal that they made. Despite the fact he has been wounded Butch orders his family not to retaliate to avoid a bloodbath. They agree but tensions, resentment and anger simmer under the surface. The story then shifts to Eddie, Harry’s youngest son who at 30 takes up with Jessica a naive 17 year old. He falls in love with her and to keep her he purposely gets her pregnant and then marries her and she has his twins (a boy and a girl) and their story becomes entwined with the undercurrent of the feud between the two families and also the other less than legal aspects of the Mitchell family. As the years pass there are several meetings between Jimmy O Hara and Eddie Mitchell and Jimmy always seems keen to goad Eddie. Harry Mitchell is violently murdered and despite the O’Hara’s firm denials of involvement and cast iron alibi’s Eddie remains convinced they are involved somehow. Eddie and Jessica’s twins grow up and we move into the early 80’s and the feud is reignited once more when the girl – Frankie Mitchell falls in love with Jimmy O Hara’s son Jed and he gets her pregnant which has jaw dropping shocking consequences for the Mitchell family. As I previously said none of the characters are particularly likeable, Eddie Mitchell is a violent thug plain and simple, he professes that he adores his wife Jessica which you can see to some extent he does, but he also manipulates and tries to control her and he does have a very dark side when he has been drinking, and she is a complete drip who you want to shake but then you do have remember that this is set in the 1970s when attitudes to what was acceptable in family life were very different, but I will say the feel of it the attitudes and the whole gangland theme it feels as though the story is set much further back in the 60’s rather than the 70’s. Jessica’s parents are just absurd, her mother - Joyce is a shallow, materialistic, brainless woman who is trapped in a loveless marriage with Stanley a less than dynamic man, and through her resentment for being persuaded to marry a man she didn’t love by her own parents she totally dominates him and is quite cruel to him. She is also immediately taken in by Eddie and she is blinded by his charm, charisma and wealth and encourages the relationship with Jessica practically throwing her young daughter at him. Stanley is about the most likable person in the story, he can see Eddie for what he is and tries to warn Jessica but he is a weak man and years of being stamped on by his wife have taken its toll. The twins Frankie and Joey are completely self-centred brats, although you do have an element of sympathy for Joey who is gay and who spends his life in fear of his macho father Eddie finding this out. The story appears to be completely over the top, but when you compare it to real life stories of underworld London and gangland killings you think maybe it’s not so outlandish after all. It is complex as there are moments of humour which do make you laugh out loud but equally there are also moments where your jaw is literally hanging open and it riveted me enough to pull an all nighter to find out what happened. Book 2: The Traitor The Traitor starts off where the first book ended and from the start it has a totally different feel to it, it is written in a different way. The first book felt solid and although you moved from character to character significant parts were dedicated to that particular character, this is different, it flits about offering only a paragraph to each character what they are all doing at a particular time, it doesn’t flow and it feels disjointed and you are on edge all the while not totally able to get into it as the character being talked about keeps changing and moving on to someone else and what they are doing and whilst that makes it quite hard to read I think that was the authors intention, you see, at the end of the first book the Mitchell family which was a solid force and dependable throughout becomes broken and disjointed after Eddie Mitchell does something horrifyingly bad, and all its members scatter and they are left confused and on edge as they have no idea what their future holds or what is going to happen next. I was hoping the third book would go back to how the first book was written as I wasn’t as enraptured by this book as I was the first, that one completely blew me away, but this one felt a little forced at times and the big incident felt a bit contrived and towards the end I found myself skimming pages rather than reading them just to finish it. Book 3: The Victim The Victim starts where The Traitor ended and once again it had that same disjointed feel to it, and I was now at the point where certain characters were annoying me as they are so caricatured and stereotypical and when I was reading parts about them I found myself skipping and skimming to move on to the bits I did want to read about which were essential to the main story. I don’t know whether it is me or not but the strong writing, and the depth and the humour of the first book had totally gone now and I found it to be quite flat and uninspiring and quite frankly a chore to read for the most part. It was only my stubbornness at never giving up on a book that kept me going. About ¾ of the way through the book there is another time jump and then the story just ended, there was no conclusion it just stopped as there was this final massive showdown between Eddie Mitchell (now in his late 50’s/early 60’s) and his family and Jimmy and Jed O’ Hara and then the story just finished with no real conclusion to the multitude of questions that showdown had produced and believe me there were many so that was a massive let down and I was really disappointed how it all turned out considering how much potential that this story had to be totally sensational after how good the first book was. So, in conclusion would I recommend it, well probably not as the disappointment increased with each installment and in the end you are left with questions as to how the story did finally conclude but equally you don't really care and considering how good the first book was I think that was a real shame.
  15. Poetic Wanderings

    Oenone: Fair and fair, and twice so fair, As fair as any may be; The fairest shepherd on our green, A love for any lady. Paris: Fair and fair, and twice so fair, As fair as any may be; Thy love is fair for thee alone And for no other lady. Oenone: My love is fair, my love is gay, As fresh as bin the flowers in May And of my love my roundelay, My merry, merry, merry roundelay, Concludes with Cupid's curse,— 'They that do change old love for new Pray gods they change for worse!' Ambo Simul: They that do change old love for new, Pray gods they change for worse! George Peele - from 'Fair and Fair'
  16. review of Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori keiko Karakura is a 36 year old woman, working 5 days a week in a Convenience Store, where she has been for the last 18 years. She lives for the convenience store including doing her own shopping in the store she works, her breakfast coming from the store, her lunch from the store and dinner from the store. This brings societal pressure from both family and friends to form a relationship and to start a family (she admits to having "no awareness of her own sexuality", she seems to be very sex adverse in the novel and probably asexual (asexuality is mentioned in my edition on page 37). She also seems to be on the autism spectrum. She struggles to relate to people outside of work and needs help from her sister to come up with preplanned answers to the difficult questions. The structure of the convenience store works for her as everything she needs to do, is covered in the manual. The repetitiveness and organisation of the store puts her in a settled mood). Her sister wishes Keiko would visit her and her son more but Keiko doesn't understand the difference between her nephew and a friends baby. In social situations in the store, she tries to mimic the other staff's style of speaking and dress in order to fit in. As a cover for her unwillingness and difficulty at dealing with the questions on her relationship status, she decides to enlist a former colleague Shirhaha to play the role of a boyfriend/partner but he seems an awful person (misogynistic, lazy). I think the pressures that keiko faces are very relateable to problems other asexuals face, trying to appear and fit in with a society that doesn't really understand a lack of interest and lack of sexual attraction. There are some indicators I find on how I feel about books. A disappointing book may have things like, you keep going to your mobile phone to check stuff on it, you take breaks and your mind wanders. Similarly, a book that you enjoyed have other indicators, like the only break you took when reading was to have some tea, you read it through in a single evening when you originally intended to only read for an hour but instead you just finished it, you decide to skip watching stuff on tv that you probably would normally watch (also helped was new england patriots thrashing la chargers 35-7 in the odd break to see the score at 8pm). the list of those reason you enjoyed a book all apply to this one. In short, I loved this book. Apart from my tea break (and to check the American Football score), I wanted to just read it, I loved Keiko and the voice that Murata and Tapley Takemori gave Keiko. It was witty, endearing, observant. The reason I wanted to keep reading it was I wanted to know that she got on ok. thanks to both Sayaka Murata and Ginn Tapley Takemori for this superb novel that I loved. * * * * *
  17. An Officer and a Spy

    I NEVER trust our leaders and am always shocked about how many people hero-worship a President or other politician. They almost never deserve that kind of adoration. I don't just mean Trump, whom all right-thinking people loathe, but also Barack Obama, whom my friends hero-worship, notwithstanding the fact that he did everything he could to expand executive power. Fortunately, the Supreme Court spanked his hand and wouldn't allow his executive orders to stand. That's how I knew that all those orders that Trump signed his first few days in office wouldn't stand up--because Obama had already tried to "rule" that way and been stopped. My guess is that he (or his advisers) knew it and just had him sign all that crap as a sop to his base.
  18. Why it's a good idea to have a large TBR

    Or a pile of old friends, waiting to get re-acquainted!
  19. Song Chain

    Young Americans - David Bowie
  20. what is everyone doing?

    I'm sorry about your insomnia Tag but it's understandable. Speaking from experience, the autopsy is standard practice - everybody who dies at home needs to have one - and doesn't indicate that there could be something suspicious. The coroner will stop as soon as (s)he finds a cause of death and then you can have a funeral. They know it's a nightmare for the family who is waiting and they do their best to get it done as quickly as is humanly possible.
  21. what is everyone doing?

    Sorry about the insomnia Tag, how old was your Dad? Was there a problem with his illness diagnosis. I hope it all gets straightened out for you soon, grief is an almost unbearable situation but in time it gets better.
  22. what is everyone doing?

    Having insomnia (and still waiting for the autopsy results) but thanks for all of the good wishes.
  23. Song Chain

    Young Guns (Go For It!) - Wham!
  24. Song Chain

    Happiness is a Warm Gun - The Beatles
  25. Book Chain

    The Well Of Loneliness - Radclyffe Hall
  26. Why it's a good idea to have a large TBR

    Told you I'd seen it before! That's exactly what it's like.
  27. [...] Into the chamber wickedly he stalks, And gazeth on her yet unstained bed. The curtains being close, about he walks, Rolling his greedy eyeballs in his head: By their high treason is his heart misled; Which gives the watch-word to his hand full soon To draw the cloud that hides the silver moon. Look, as the fair and fiery-pointed sun, Rushing from forth a cloud, bereaves our sight; Even so, the curtain drawn, his eyes begun To wink, being blinded with a greater light: Whether it is that she reflects so bright, That dazzleth them, or else some shame supposed; But blind they are, and keep themselves enclosed. O, had they in that darksome prison died! Then had they seen the period of their ill; Then Collatine again, by Lucrece' side, In his clear bed might have reposed still: But they must ope, this blessed league to kill; And holy-thoughted Lucrece to their sight Must sell her joy, her life, her world's delight. [...] Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece
  28. Why it's a good idea to have a large TBR

    Well said, luna, it's like having a comfort blanket!
  29. Why it's a good idea to have a large TBR

    You posted a link to that article in the "What is everybody Doing" thread just over a year ago, luna, but it is certainly worth its own thread - especially as the original link is no longer available. I will just copy my reply from there into this post:
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