Blogging break

I haven’t been blogging much recently (my last blog post was over 3 weeks ago!), mainly because I haven’t been reading much and life is so hectic at the minute that I need to focus on other things.

This happens every year and its quite frustrating. I’ve gone from being 9 books ahead on my goodreads challenge at one point this year to 3 books behind and I’m not going to reach it. It’s not that important, but I was so sure I could do it this year. 

So I’ve decided that I’m not going to put pressure on myself, reading and blogging is something I want to do for fun not because I think I should. I’ll be having a little break from blogging but shall be back when I’m reading more and feel like I have the time and ideas to get everything I want out of this blog.

Thank to everyone who has read my blog this year, and to everyone who has made me feel welcome. I love reading all of your blogs, and will continue to do so. 

Wishing you all a happy new year. See you soon I hope.

Ali

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My name in books -surname

Back in September I spelt my first name in books (you can see that here), so I thought it was time to brave my surname and some tricky letters!  These are all books I have on my shelf -I’ve read most of them but not all of them.

Harry Potter

harry potter

 

 

 

 

Room of One’s Own (still need to read this)

A room of Ones own

 

 

 

 

 

(the) Yellow Wallpaper

the yellow wallpaper

Wide Sargasso Sea

wide sargasso sea

Agent 6

agent 5

Revolutionary Road

revolutionary road

Dominion (still have been brave enough to pick up this massive book)

dominion

 

What books would you have chosen for your name and mine? Have your read any of these?

Ali

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Winter re-reads

winter

Originally the plan was to carry on with my autumn reading list until the end of November, but as the nights are getting longer and colder I’m finding myself getting nostalgic and wanting to re-read some old favourites. I really enjoyed having my autumn reading plan(even though I didn’t read everything) so I will be doing something similar throughout winter.

It is mainly series that I read and loved as a child and teenager that I will be re-reading.

His Dark Materials (Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) by Philip Pullman: I loved this a teenager and haven’t re-read them in about 5 years. 

his dark materials

Harry Potter (all 7) by J K Rowling: These books were such an important part of  my childhood (we even manage to have Harry Potter themed things at our wedding – perhaps more about this in another post!). I am listening to The Deathly Hallows on my commute at the moment (I never want to get out the car!) and will be reading the other books throughout December. 

harry potter

The Tales of the Otori (the trilogy, prequel and sequel) by Lian Hearn: Again one of my favourite series as a teenager, I plan to read at least the trilogy, but may pick up the prequel and sequel if I feel like it. 

tales of the otori

I might pick up a few other books I used to love as a child; Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, The Secret Garden and perhaps a few others. 

I realise this is quite an ambitious list but I tend to re-read fairly quickly, and also I have lots of time off over Christmas. 

What do you plan to read this winter? Are you more likely to re-read in the winter months like me?

Thanks for reading…

Ali

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What I’ve been reading: three quick reviews

There are a few books I’ve read recently that I want to talk about, but I don’t really want to write full reviews on them. So I thought that 3 quick reviews would be the perfect solution, with a quick synopsis, my thoughts and what star rating I gave it.

review

The Time Keeper by Mitch Alborn

Synopsis: Dor is punished for trying to measure time and is banished to a cave fore thousands of years where he must listen to everyone who wants more time. Dor becomes Father Time. He gets his chance for freedom but must help 2 people first; one who has given up on life and the other who can’t let go.

Thoughts: The Time Keeper was incredibly powerful and thought provoking.  We spend so much time rushing about and complaining how little time we have but really we should be appreciating and making the most of what we have. It was beautifully written and was utterly compelling. Possible my favourite book of the year so far!

5 stars

Agatha Raisin and the Blood of an Englishman by M C Beaton

Synopsis: We join Agatha again as she tries to solve a mysterious murder at a local amateur dramatic society pantomime performance. In her usual style Agatha finds clues, feuds and  secrets that bring her closer and closer to find the killer and danger!

Thoughts: I picked this up to get me out of a slump (that was in part caused by reading The Time Keeper and not being able to pick anything else up!) and it certainly did the trick; although I’m still not reading as much as normal it certainly stopped my slump getting any worse! Light hearted and predictable the newer books in the series aren’t nearly as good as the first few books, but are still a cosy and enjoyable read.

3 stars

One Night In Winter by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Synposis (taken from goodreads):A jubilant Moscow is celebrating the Soviet Union’s victory over Hitler when gunshots ring out though the city’s crowded streets. In the shadow of the Kremlin, a teenage boy and girl are found dead. But this is no ordinary tragedy, because these are no ordinary teenagers. As the children of high-ranking Soviet officials, they inhabit a rarefied world that revolves around the exclusive Josef Stalin Commune School 801. The school, which Stalin’s own children attended, is an enclave of privilege—but, as the deaths reveal, one that hides a wealth of secrets. Were these deaths an accident, a suicide pact . . . or murder?

Thoughts: I thought it was a bit slow to get going, but about 100 pages in I was gripped and couldn’t put it down. It was a fascinating look into Stalinist Russia and the terror that people faced, while still focusing on the characters and not just the historical context (I especially loved the The Little Professor!).As a History and International Politics graduate (with my main focus having been 20th Century history) and having always had a real interest in modern Russian history this book was the perfect choice for me. I recommend it to anyone with an interest in Russian history, that enjoys historical fiction. 

4 stars

I hope that you enjoyed my quick reviews, I think that I will do more reviews like this in the future. Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts? Comments, thoughts and suggestions are always welcome!

Thanks for reading…

Ali

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Review: The Seal Letter

The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue

the sealed letter

3 stars

It has been a while since I finished The Sealed Letter and I have gotten out of the habit of writing notes (I never really got into the habit to be honest!). I am struggling to remember some of my thoughts, so my review might not be as detailed as I would like. I have taken the synopsis from goodreads.

Miss Emily “Fido” Faithfull is a “woman of business” and a spinster pioneer in the British women’s movement, independent of mind but naively trusting of heart. Distracted from her cause by the sudden return of her once-dear friend, the unhappily wed Helen Codrington, Fido is swept up in the intimate details of Helen’s failing marriage and obsessive affair with a young army officer. What begins as a loyal effort to help a friend explodes into a courtroom drama that rivals the Clinton affair –complete with stained clothing, accusations of adultery, counterclaims of rape, and a mysterious letter that could destroy more than one life.

Based on a scandalous divorce case that gripped England in 1864, “The Sealed Letter” is a riveting, provocative drama of friends, lovers, and divorce, Victorian style

First things first, it took me so long to read The Sealed Letter because of this awful slump but I did still enjoyed it. I found it fascinating seeing the role and rights of women in society and within marriages in Victorian times;  especially so as it is based on a real story, a real divorce and a real sealed letter.

I did find it frustrating at times, as I didn’t find of the characters likeable. I’m all for unlikeable characters and often think they are more interesting, but it nice to have a character that you warm to and find yourself routing for. 

The Sealed Letter is a fantastic look into Victorian society, but as a novel there was just something missing for me, which is strange seeing how much I loved Emma Donoghue’s writing style in Room.

Have you read The Sealed Letter? I would love to know what you thought about it.

autumn readingThis was one of the books from my Autumn Reading list. Click on the picture to see the list. 

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Thanks for reading…

Ali

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