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Monday, 11 November 2019

#MusicMonday WHEN WILL I BE FAMOUS by BROS


It's Monday! It's time for music!  All thanks to Drew at  The Tattooed Book Geek who started this weekly tag where you get to share favourite songs/videos!

And for me I'm back to my 80's self when I was (and still am!) a Brosette!  Many trips to London wearing ripped jeans, and grolsch bottle tops to stand outside where they live or meet them at record signings! The good old days!  So here's When Will I Be Famous!!




LYRICS

When will I be famous?
Yes you're suitably at one
With your body and the sun
Yes you are
Well you've read Karl Marx
And you've taught yourself to dance
You're the best by far
But you keep asking the question
One you're not supposed to mention
When will I, will I be famous?
I can't answer, I can't answer that
When will I see my picture in the paper?
I can't answer, I can't answer that
And I can't tell you when
You'll see your name up in lights
When will I, will I be famous?
You keep asking me, babe
You're a slave to fashion
And your life is full of passion
It's the way you are
You've suffered for your art
With the jogging in the park
You know you should go far
But you keep asking the question
One you're not supposed to mention
(I'm not supposed to mention)
When will I, will I be famous?
I can't answer, I can't answer that
When will I see my picture in the paper?
I can't answer, (I can't wait, ) I can't answer that
And I can't tell you when
You'll see your name up in lights
When will I, will I be famous?
You keep asking me, babe
(I can't wait)
You won't suffer in silence
You're a talent, you know that I've noticed
You'd like to be a legend
A big star overnight (Tell me when)
I can't answer your question (I can't wait)
It's driving me insane
And your impossible impatience (impatience)
Tearing at my brain
I can't take it, take it much more
Got too much to hope for
When will I
When when when when wh-when
Will I, will I, will I
When will I, will I be famous?
I can't answer, I can't answer that
When will I, will I be famous?
I can't answer, I can't answer that
When will I, will I be famous?
I can't answer, I can't answer that (What's the point of asking when?)
When will I see my picture in the paper?
I can't answer, I can't answer that
When will I, will I be famous?
I can't answer, I can't answer that
When will I, will I be famous?




















#BlogTour KEEPER OF SECRETS by LYNDA STACEY #BookReview @rararesources


Delighted to be part of the fabulous Blog Tour for the lovely Lynda Stacey and KEEPER OF SECRETS. My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for putting this all together and letting me be part of it all!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Keeper of Secrets

Should some secrets stay buried?
For as long as Cassie Hunt can remember her Aunt Aggie has spoken about the forgotten world that exists just below their feet, in the tunnels and catacombs of the Sand House. The story is what inspired Cassie to become an archaeologist. 
But Aggie has a secret that she’s buried as deep as the tunnels and when excavation work begins on the site, Cassie is the only one who can help her keep it. With the assistance of her old university friend, Noah Flanagan, she puts into action a plan to honour Aggie’s wishes. 
It seems the deeper Noah and Cassie dig, the more shocking the secrets uncovered – and danger is never far away, both above and below the ground …

PUBLISHED BY 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR



 Lynda is a wife, step-mother and grandmother who grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire..

She is currently the Sales Director of a stationery, office supplies and office furniture company in Doncaster, where she has worked for the past 28 years. Prior to this she’d also been a nurse, a model, an emergency first response instructor and a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor … and yes, she was crazy enough to dive in the sea with sharks, without a cage. 

Following a car accident in 2008, Lynda was left with limited mobility in her right arm. Unable to dive or teach anymore, she turned to her love of writing, a hobby she’d followed avidly since being a teenager.

Her own life story, along with varied career choices, helps Lynda to create stories of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.

She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her ‘hero at home husband’, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for over 20 years.

Lynda joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers’ Scheme and in 2015 her debut novel House of Secrets won Choc Lit’s Search for a Star competition. Lynda writes for both Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction.

Social Media Links – 





MY REVIEW

This is a book based on a real place, and there's some fabulous photos and information at the end of the book to shed more light, and this was a wonderful aspect to the whole setting of the story and has made me aware of a place I never knew anything about!

As for the story itself, I found myself totally captivated by Cassie and the drama she found herself involved herself in as she tried to help a beloved family member and shows the lengths you'll go to help out someone you love.

Cassie has had a very traumatic past. With her sister Lisa, she was bullied as a child and had to deal with tragedy more than she should.  But with the love and support of Aggie, their Aunt, they have managed to move on with their lives and the love that Aggie had for the tunnels and secrets in The Sand House close by, has passed on to Cassie who has become an archeologist.

But Aggie has fallen ill, and wants Cassie to help retrieve something she's hidden in the tunnels ahead of someone else finding it in a big excavation that is planned for the site.  This leads to some startling revelations as we get to go back in time to hear the story from Aggie, and also to see what took place to Cassie and her family and I loved following all the different storylines.

Working back at home this also brings Cassie back in touch with an old friend, and I loved seeing how their relationship was rekindled and just how protective people were when they knew Cassie could be in danger.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story - I loved the historical aspects which played out nicely alongside the romance and intrigue of just what was so important to Aggie. The bond between them was so touching. In Cassie, there's a character who was easy to warm to and understand and I loved how there was  a little bit of everything within the pages of this book to keep you entertained, thrilled and shocked!

★★★★








Sunday, 10 November 2019

#BookReview PLEASE READ THIS LEAFLET CAREFULLY by KAREN HAVELIN @DeadInkBooks


ABOUT THE BOOK

Please Read This Leaflet Carefully, the debut novel from Norwegian writer and translator Karen Havelin, is the story of a woman whose body has become her enemy.

The novel tracks backward, from 2016 until 1995, etching details of daily life into a gripping and darkly humorous bildungsroman, about the intricacies of love and life in a fragile body.

We meet Laura Fjellstad first as she works and cares for her young daughter, while struggling with debilitating pain and endometriosis, an invisible chronic illness.

As the reader moves in reverse to meet Laura’s younger and somewhat healthier selves (a hopeful bride in New York, a baby queer in Paris, a figure skater in Norway) we uncover her tireless work to gain control of her identity, her illness and the conflicting demands made by doctors, friends, lovers and family.

Man Booker Prize-winning author Paul Beatty says most books about disease try to describe the pain; told in poetic whisper, Karen Havelin's debut novel lets pain speak for itself. It's a book that dares you be nosy, to eavesdrop and listen in to a stoic young woman whom no one noticed until she began to disappear, her body disintegrating from the inside out until there's nothing left but searing agony and almost impossibly―a burning triumph.

Jarringly funny and perceptive; an intimate reckoning with the inner demons and precarity of everyday life, unpacked through the very specific lens of a woman with chronic pain.
 

PUBLISHED BY DEAD INK BOOKS

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon  

whsmith  




MY REVIEW

A beautiful and brutal story of life with a chronic illness, that really connected with me as it just felt so honest and insightful and having a chronic illness myself I just felt so much empathy and it just struck a chord with me that I shared many of her thoughts and feelings. It's also told in a really intriguing way - it's told from back to front so we go backwards in time so you see the impact on various times in the life of Laura. From where she is now right back to her childhood and how each stage of the illness - endometriosis - has impacted on her everyday life, her interactions with family and friends, and her attitude to the illness over the years.

We start in 2016 and she's living in New York with her daughter - trying to live a normal life despite the restrictions that a chronic illness place upon you as a person. She's newly divorced and exhausted, with her parents living in Norway, but she's reluctant to take any help from anyone as she's determined she doesn't need the help of anyone. It's a stubborness that seems to plague her throughout - she doesn't want the pity of people and finds it easier to push herself to prove a point, despite knowing that pushing will have a negative effect on her health. And then the story goes backwards in years so you see her at different times in her life, with different views and outlooks on just how the illness is impacting on her and those around her. From moving to another country, to getting married and having a child, and to being back in Norway planning a new life, almost in a way to escape the 'old her' and to prove that she can do things on her own, no matter how hard.

She finds astonishing prejudice throughout, especially suffering an invisible illness, so people think she looks ok but are unable to see the pain she's suffering on a daily basis, and just how exhausting the tiniest task can be. Things a 'healthy' person takes for granted. How she becomes aware of the signs when she's pushing too hard and knowing when to stop and rest. And also recognising the importance of being kind to yourself and those around you. As well as her family issues, it also touches on sexuality and finding yourself.

This book really captures brilliantly all the conflicting feelings that you have with a chronic illness - dealing with the extremely bad days, finding hope in the good days, the well meaning advice you get, the anger, the frustrations and the resilience you build up to coping with things on your own as you don't want to burden others. I found it fascinating to see how the mindset of Laura changed over the years with the last chapters especially being so poignant, with her in her childhood and the hopes and dreams she had for the future.

A stunning and powerful novel that I can highly recommend, especially to anyone dealing with a chronic illness or people who just want a better understanding of invisible illnesses as this sums it all up perfectly.

★★★★★ 











#BookReview Daisy's Christmas Gift Shop by Hannah Pearl


ABOUT THE BOOK

Struggling to find the perfect Christmas gift? Step into Romantic Daze …

Daisy Kirk is a sucker for a love story, which is why she opened up her gift shop – because there’s nothing that makes Daisy happier than when she’s helped a customer achieve their own ‘happily ever after’ by finding the perfect Christmas gift for their loved one. And she absolutely does not just sell ‘soppy presents and frilly pants’ as her brother’s infuriating best friend, Eli, is so fond of suggesting.

The sad fact is that whilst Daisy is helping others with their love lives, hers is non-existent. But when unusual circumstances take Daisy and Eli on a road trip from London to rural Wales, will she finally get the happily ever after to her own Christmas love story?


PURCHASE LINK



MY REVIEW

This was a lovely read full of surprises for me as a reader! I was expecting a light and fun read full of romance - there was plenty of that but also a more darker, thrilling side with the main characters having to track down a missing family member, that took them all out of their comfort zone.

And the comfort zone for Daisy is her lovely gift shop, Romantic Daze! It's her happy place and she's all about helping other people finding the right gift for loved ones, whilst never getting the happy ever after for herself! She's always been a romantic but never seems to be lucky in love.

In the background there's always been her twin brothers' best friend Eli - they seem to have a flirty but argumentative relationship! There's always that spark between them which is really exciting to observe - it's like when you were at school and a boy would say mean things to you, and that would mean he fancied you!

A character I really enjoyed was Lily - she's the best friend of Daisy and also runs the local sex shop so there's lots of fun to be had there in this book! She's a great support to Daisy and is of the opinion 'if you've got it, flaunt it'!!

With a new bloke on the scene, you get to wonder if that will push Eli and Daisy together on a more permanent basis, but their attention is soon turned by the disappearance of her brother and that brought new twists to the storyline that made it even more compelling to get through each page to see if Daisy would get the happy ending she so richly deserves!!


★★★★







Saturday, 9 November 2019

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 10th November 2019 #bookblogger


Hello!  A week of sunshine and showers! And the big coat is out and in use! Time to hibernate!!

And it's been a good start to my Non Fiction November with 4 books read this week - and NONE bought!!! And i've only been tempted by Netgalley once as I try to get that all under control so maybe I'm now finally becoming a more responsible book shopper/collector/hoarder!! Nope, I don't believe that either!

So here's a quick look back at my week!

BOOKS FINISHED 





Landfill by Tim Dee  - 4 stars





BOOKHAUL

Just one visit to Netgalley this week..

THE MISSING LETTERS OF MRS BRIGHT by BETH MILLER
published by Bookouture
Publication date - January 2020


You’ve met Mrs Bright. She’s that nice woman who lives three doors down and always smiles at you in the mornings. She’s planning her thirtieth wedding anniversary with her husband. She wants to travel, read endless books and take beautiful pictures. She’s been waiting for this forever.

For the past twenty-nine years, Kay Bright’s days have had a familiar rhythm: she works in her husband’s stationery shop, cooks for her family, tries to remember to practice yoga, and every other month she writes to her best friend, Ursula, and Ursula replies. Kay could set her calendar by their letters: her heart lifts when the blue airmail envelope, addressed in Ursula’s slanting handwriting, falls gently onto the mat.

Ursula is the only one who knows Kay’s deepest secret, something that happened decades ago that could tear Kay’s life apart today. Ursula has always been the person Kay relies on. Knowing she will hear from Ursula is like being sure the sun will rise tomorrow.

And now Ursula has stopped writing. Three missing letters doesn’t sound like a lot, but Kay gets out her shoebox of notes from her best friend, in case there’s something she overlooked. Ursula seems fine, but the further back she goes, the more Kay begins to question every choice she has made in her life. Which might be why, at ten o’clock one morning, Kay walks out of her yellow front door with a just a rucksack, leaving her wedding ring on the table...

An emotional and heart-warming novel for anyone who knows it’s never too late to look for happiness. Fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, A Man Called Ove and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will fall in love with this feel-good and moving story that shows you that the best friendships truly last forever.



CURRENTLY READING







What's your bookish week been like?! Any new books I need to be adding to my mountain! Would love to hear about them!

HAPPY READING!!




















Thursday, 7 November 2019

#BookReview THE FIVE by HALLIE RUBENHOLD #NonFictionNovember


ABOUT THE BOOK

Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London—the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper.

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden, and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.

What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women.

For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that "the Ripper" preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time—but their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.

published by Doubleday

PURCHASE LINKS





MY REVIEW

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine, Mary Jane. Names we should all know considering their place in crime history, but many of us don't as more focus is placed on the perpetrator of the crimes against them than the actual victims. But in this staggering work, the author has set about redressing the balance so we can get to know more about the women who were brutally murdered in London in 1888 by Jack the Ripper.

The attention to detail throughout is staggering and I can only begin to imagine how long it must have taken the author to put this work together. Each woman is given their own section so that their story can be fully told through painstaking research into family trees, newspaper reports and police statements from family and friends, and it just makes for such absorbing reading. It gives you a real glimpse into life in those times, the bleakness, the struggles and the human side of these women who were dealt a rough hand throughout their lives, only for them to be ended in such horrific ways, and then their characters talked down after their deaths.

But this book gives these women a voice, so we learn of their upbringings, the family history and they all came from different backgrounds so there's so many interesting things to learn about life in the past - the attitudes of society, the family dynamics and the devastating effects of addiction are brought to the front and your heart just bled for these women. However they tried to improve their circumstances, there was always something just around the corner to bring them down once more.

What I also found most profound was the list at the end of the book which was which items the women had on them at the time of their murders. Very poignant and really hit home of just how tragic their lives were.

Mixed in with the local news at the time, the good(well known) and the bad (much less reported!), this book does a magnificent job of transporting the reader back in time and I found it truly astonishing and enthralling. A must read and one of my books of 2019!

★★★★★



















Wednesday, 6 November 2019

#BookReview LANDFILL by TIM DEE @LittleToller


ABOUT THE BOOK

A ground breaking new book from the author of The Running Sky and Four Fields, Landfill confronts our waste-making species through the extraordinary and fascinating life of gulls, and the people who watch them. Original, compelling and unflinching, it is the nature book for our times.
We think of gulls as pests. They steal our chips and make newspaper headlines, these animals, often derided as “bin chickens” are complex neighbours, making the most of our throw away species. In the Anthropocene, they are a surprising success story. They’ve become intertwined with us, precisely because we are so good at making rubbish. Landfill is a book that avoids nostalgia and eulogy for nature and instead kicks beneath the littered surface to find stranger and more inspiring truths.
Landfill is the compelling story of how we have worked the rest of the living world, learned about it, named and catalogued it, colonised and planted it, and filled it with our rubbis
h.


PUBLISHED BY Little Toller

PURCHASE LINKS





MY REVIEW


If you don't become a 'gull' fan after reading this book then I think there's something wrong with you! They're a bird I've taken for granted, especially living so close to the estuary and the large landfill site in Pitsea where a lot of this book is set (and I never knew such gull action even went on there!), but in this stunning little book, the author really gets behind the 'trashy' image we all get of gulls - that they're aggressive and ugly and serve no real purpose other than nicking your food if you're at the seaside, or attacking small animals in gardens, thanks to silly season reports in newspapers! The more that he studies these birds in various sites, the more he begins to appreciate them and realise just how much human behaviour has impacted on their habits. Hence the link with rubbish and why so many can be spotted at landfill sites across the county.

The author is a birdwatcher, and his enthusiasm and passion for the subject is infectious as he follows the birds and talks to the people who follow these birds and are known as 'gullers'. They've become fascinated by the species and their behaviour and will travel long distances for glimpses of rare breeds but also to note changes in their numbers. And due to the changes in the way we dispose of food waste especially now, the numbers aren't seen at landfill sites anymore so they're having to change where they get their food, and heading away from the seaside and into towns.

I really enjoyed the mix of the way the author told the story of the gull - he used his own knowledge alongside where they're mentioned in poetry, literature and films, and it made for an absorbing read and I never thought I'd find the subjects of gulls and rubbish so fascinating! The information and anecdotes were really well balanced and made for an enthralling read.

I'm really glad to have been educated about these birds that I think we all take for granted and largely ignore, so will definitely be paying more attention to the local gull population!

★★★★

My thanks to the publisher, Little Toller, for a copy of the book in return for a fair and honest review.




#BookReview THE WAY TO THE SEA by CAROLINE CRAMPTON #NonFictionNovember


ABOUT THE BOOK

Caroline Crampton was born on the Thames Estuary to parents who had sailed there from South Africa in the early 1980s. Having grown up with seafaring legs and a desire to explore, Caroline is both a knowledgeable guide to the most hidden-away parts of this overlooked and unfashionable part of the country, and a persuasive advocate for its significance, both historically and culturally. As one of the key entrances and exits to England, the estuary has been pivotal to London's economic fortunes and in defining its place in the world. It has also been the entry point for immigrants for generations, yet it has an ambivalent relationship with newcomers, and UKIP's popularity in the area is on the rise. As Caroline navigates the waters of the estuary, she also seeks out its stories: empty warehouses and arsenals; the Thames barrier, which guards the safety of Londoners more precariously than we might; ship wrecks still inhabited by the ghosts of the drowned; vast Victorian pumping stations which continue to carry away the capital's sewage; the river banks, layered with archaeological Anglo-Saxon treasures; literature inspired by its landscape; beacons used for centuries to guide boats through the dark and murky waterways of the estuary; the eerie Maunsell army forts - 24 metre high towers of concrete and steel which were built on concealed sandbanks at the far reaches of the estuary during the Second World War and designed to spot (and shoot) at incoming enemy planes; and the estuary's wildlife and shifting tidal moods.

PUBLISHED BY GRANTA BOOKS

PURCHASE LINKS

amazon uk  £11.89

whsmith  £11.89

hive.co.uk  £12.49


MY REVIEW

As someone who lives alongside the Thames Estuary, I found this to be a fascinating mix of memoir and history of the Thames from Caroline as she looks back to her first memories of the Thames with her parents, and how it has changed as she travels back along the Thames from the source to the open sea. And there's huge differences in the River from one end to the other so it's really interesting to hear her thoughts as she sees the landscape change around her on her journey.

And amongst her own personal recollections of time spent along, and in!, the Thames there are also clever uses of how the Thames has been recorded and used in history, literature, art and photography which gives you another look at how important a role that the Thames has played over the years, and continues to do so but in a rather different way now than before.

As a local to the Thames I found it fascinating to learn so much more about places and points along the river that I thought I knew so well! I understand the pull of the Thames so I really connected with the author and her 'obsession' with the water and the places along it. From the animal life to the diseases and disasters that have plagued this stretch of water, I found this book to be really entertaining and informative.

★★★★

















Tuesday, 5 November 2019

#BookReview Woods: A Celebration by Robert Penn #nonfictionnovember


ABOUT THE BOOK

A tribute to the natural history of some of our most iconic British woods. The National Trust manages hundreds of woods, covering more than 60,000 acres of England and Wales. They include many of the oldest woodlands in the land and some of the oldest living things of any kind—trees that are thousands of years old. From Dean to Epping, from Hatfield to Sherwood, this book covers the natural history of Britain's forests and how they have changed the face of a landscape. Covering the different species of trees that give these woods their unique characters, the plants and animals that inhabit them, and the way their appearance changes throughout the seasons, Woods is a fascinating and beautifully illustrated celebration of Britain's trees and the ancient stories that surround them.

Published by National Trust

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK  £20

whsmith  £14


MY REVIEW

A beautiful coffee table book that helps to shine a little light on just how important woods are and how the National Trust are doing all they can to help preserve and conserve these areas for many generations to come.

This book takes you through the seasons in a variety of NT owned woods and how the flora and fauna change through the year and how each wood is used nowadays - how can it stay relevant in these more modern times when large patches of woodland are disappearing fast.

It talks about the problems facing these areas and the diseases that are wreaking havoc amongst the native species. As well as personal commentary from the author, it also features poetry, history and literature that features woodland areas.

The photos are beautiful and especially Autumn for me with all the different colours showing, just shows how stunning these areas are and hopefully will continue to be with the help of the National Trust and other organisations.


★★★★


















Monday, 4 November 2019

#MusicMonday Chocolate by Snow Patrol


Happy Monday! Time for more tunes!  Hosted by the fabulous Drew atThe Tattooed Book Geek, Music Monday is a weekly thing where you get to share a song or video that you love!

And this week I've gone for Chocolate by Snow Patrol!  I love the band so it's been hard to choose just one song but this is one I could listen to on repeat!




LYRICS



This could be the very minute
I'm aware I'm alive
All these places feel like home
With a name I'd never chosen
I can make my first steps
As a child of twenty-five
This is the straw, final straw in the
Roof of my mouth as I lie to you
Just because I'm sorry doesn't mean
I didn't enjoy it at the time
You're the only thing that I love
Scares me more every day
On my knees I think clearer
Goodness knows I saw it coming
Or at least I'll claim I did
But in truth I'm lost for words
What have I done? It's too late for that
What have I become? Truth is nothing yet
A simple mistake starts the hardest time
I promise I'll do anything you ask, this time