Zi71bFS9nQHnivtvUJquhejTHIQ The Story Factory Reading Zone: April 2011

Friday, 29 April 2011

Bank Holiday Giveaway- extended

Due to lack of entrants, I have decided to extend the deadline for entry into the bank holiday giveaway for another week. If you live in the UK, check out the original post to enter for a copy of 'The Shape of Things to Come' by H.G. Wells.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Oriel's Diary by Robert Harrison (A Review)

I've read biblical stories retold by angelds before but, unlike many others, this one managed to bring the story to a human level without being ridiculous. It is easy to relate to Oriel and seeing the difference earthly time makes to him actually helps the reader to consider the person of Jesus in more depth. There were some lovely moments of almost comedy set against the story taken from Luke's Gospel. I really enjoyed this book and can't wait the read the sequel. I will be passing this book onto other members of mmy family now so that they can enjoy it as well.

The Book Bloger Comunity

You can now read my answer to the question 'Are you ever surprised by the large book community bloggers are a part of?' on Confessions of a Bookaholic (here)

Third Sentence Thursday #8- A Time of Gifts

Third Sentence Thursday

Hosted by Sniffly Kitty

A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Indeed, indifference to the squalor of caves and speed at the approach of danger might have seemed the likeliest aptitudes for life in occupied Crete. 

Jousting and Bun Throwing- A Royal Celebration

For the past few weeks television has been full of the special event that will be happening tomorrow- the royal marriage. I've been mostly trying to avoid it (a task which is practically impossible), but tomorrow I plan to finally start celebrating along with the nation and the world.

During the day I plan to go to Blenheim Palace where they're having a special jousting tournament. I haven't been to one of these for quite a long time, so it should be great.

Then, in the evening, we have our town bun throwing event. "Bun throwing?" I hear you ask, "what's that". Well, its a tradition to celebrate royal occassios here by throwing buns off the top off the town hall to the people below. Its a very fun event, with some people even bringing upside down umbrellas too help them to catch more buns. No idea where the tradition comes from, but its worth joining in with if you ever get the chance.

How will you be celebrating the royal wedding?

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Blogging Origins

Check out my answer to the question of why I started blogging as part of Confessions of a Bookaholic's blog anniversary. To find my answer click here

Allotted Time by Robin Shelton- A Review

An enduring look at what can happen when two people with no idea of gardening take on an allottment. This was a light, but interesting, read. I found myself half sympathising and half groaning at the main character. Certainly worth a read if you're thinking of taking up edible gardening, if only to help you forsee some of the possible pitfalls.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Bank Holiday Giveaway (UK only)

Up for grabs is my only once read copy of H.G. Well's 'The Shape of Thing To Come'. This hard-backed copy was bought brand new by myself only a short while ago.

Amazon description:

When a diplomat dies in the 1930s, he leaves behind a book of 'dream visions' he has been experiencing, detailing events that will occur on Earth for the next two hundred years. This fictional 'account of the future' (similar to LAST AND FIRST MEN by Olaf Stapledon) proved prescient in many ways, as Wells predicts events such as the Second World War, the rise of chemical warfare and climate change.

Click here for my review

To enter just fill in the form below
The giveaway will close when I reach my 3,000th visitor, 
so keep an eye out on the counter at the top of the page.
This giveaway is UK only because of the weight of the book involved- sorry!
Only one entry per person please.

Musing Mondays #5

Hosted by Should Be Reading

This week’s musing asks…
Do the members of your family read? Do you think it was passed down to you? ((or, if you want you can answer this: Who do you think influenced you as a reader?))

Both of my parents read, but my Dad in particular. I have many a lovely memory of times when they relaxed by reading whilst on holiday, with me playing around them. I'm sure that seeing the joy they got out of reading affected me. It also helped that my Mum read to me from a young age and thereby shared this enjoyment with me. Lots of my friends at school were also readers and I'm sure this influenced me, as it meant reading was quite normal to me. I certainly maintained an interest in reading what my higher reading ability friends enjoyed reading once I'd caught up with them.

It's Monday: What Are You Reading #11

Hosted by Book Journey

My reading this past week
The Shape of Things To Come by H.G. Wells    This took me a lot longer then I'd expected, partly because it was such a large and thought provoking book, so I didn't finish anything else this week. Giveaway coming later today!

Currently reading
Allotted Time by Robin Shelton

Planned reading for this week coming:

Oriel's Diary by Robert Harrison (to help me celebrate Easter)
The personal diary of Archangel Oriel, colleague of Gabriel and Michael, records the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
 A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor (bookcrossing ray)

Like a tramp, a pilgrim, or a wandering scholar' an eighteen-year-old boy set out, one wet December day in 1933, to walk to Constantinople. This book covers his journey as far as Hungary.

The World is Not For Sale by Jose Bove and Francois Dufour (because I planned to read it for Earth Day)
The small town of Milau is south-west France was recently the scene of an extraordinary protest. Responding to America's hike of import duties on the locally produced Roquefort cheese, an angry group of local farmers marched to the site of a McDonald's fast food restaurant, then under construction, and dismantled it. They piled the building on the back of their tractors and drove it through the town in front of cheering supporters. The protest made front-page news around the world as the latest indication of burgeoning public concern about the growth of junk food and the agribusiness it depends on.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Happy Easter

Just dropping by to wish you a fantastic Easter Day :)

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Allotted Veg

I've just started reading 'Allotted Time'- the tale of two amateurs setting out to grow things on their first ever allottment. This idea of grow-your-own and the accompanying 'buy local' seems to have really taken off over the last few years. I've heard tales of allottment waiting lists getting longer by the day and I remember seeing some temporary allottments set up in one of the London parks to show people how it was done (there was talk of making it permenant, but I don't think that ever happened). With the current economic climate it makes sense for anyone with a decent-sized garden to grow their own produce. We have a medium-sized garden containing 2 small veg plots and from that we can manage to get about half our weekly veg and all at peak growing times (we have even been known to have to freeze some of it). Ontop of vegetable growing, it seems to be becomingv popular to keep chickens, 'good life' style. One of my friends gets an egg a day from their brood and centres for hen food and buying actual hens seem to be springing up all over the garden centres.
There's now a decent choice of veg boxes where local vegetables (and sometimes fruit, eggs and even meat) can be delivered to your door. We have one of these and have worked out that good quality organic fruit and vegetables come to us now each week at the same price as it would cost us to buy normal stuff from the local supermarket. There are also a range of farm shops near to us which, whilst priced slightly more expensively, offer well-reared meat and home-made cakes and pies, as well as locally grown vegetables. As if this was not enough, there are also farmers' markets nearly every week in our county and once a month in our own town providing an easy was to get hold of lots of local food. We're even lucky enough to be able to order local-reared lamb at supermarket prices, so long as we're willing to buy half a lamb at a time in frozen state.

So, what's the point of all this?
Well, firstly, growing in your own garden or allottment means you know exactly where your food is coming from. There are no surprise pesticides, unusual foreign bugs, or dangerous growing methods lurking ready to jump out at you. And if you buy local, whilst some of these shocks are still possible, thery're a lot less likely because you're able to trace to the source easily and often even see where the stuff is grown. Plus, you can be pretty sure that no-body is chopping down tropical rainforest or destroying other valuable resources to turn wilderness into farming land.
Secondly, buying local or growing your own reduces food miles and thereby helps to save the environment. I find it shocking how far some food travels to reach our plates, often needlessly since it can be grown in the UK just as well. All these journeys use up limited fossil fuels as well as polluting our world. Yes, your eating may be linked more to the seasons but isn't it worth it if it helps preserve the planet for future generations. I do reaslie that not everyone believes in climate change, but surely its not such a big change to our lifestyles that its not better to hedge our bets just in case.
Thirdly, buying local helps to support the local economy. I don't know about you, but I'd rather my money was going to a farmer down the road struggling to make a living than to some big multi-national supermarket chain. And by giving that farmer money he'll be able to buy more stuff himself, thereby helping other local businesses whose employees now have jobs and money to spend, and so on.....

My plea, therefore, is for you to at least consider taking a leaf out of 'Allotted Time' and considering either growing things yourself or, if you're like me and not green-fingered at all (my Dad does the gardening around here), buying local instead.

The Shape of Things to Come by H.G. Wells (A Review)

I started this book hoping to find some interesting futuristic inventions and to see how accurate H.G. Wells' predictions were. There were certainly some interesting insights into the 1940s, as well as the general progressioon of society in our own time (if with very widely different happenings inbetween). However, this was less a prediction of the future as a warning of what could happen under capitalism and a social commentary of changing times. It was interesting to read different views of capitalism and socialism than my own, as well as to hear arguments for social control. It certainly wasn't a quick read, but it was well worth the effort to understand this 'text book of the future'.

Look out for a giveaway of this book- coming soon

Friday, 22 April 2011

Good Friday and Earth Day

This year two very important days have co-incided: Earth Day and Good Friday. So I'd like to wish you a Happy Earth Day and a perfect Good Friday.

I'm going to be going to a special Good Friday service today, preceeded by a small procession to the church in which its held. During this time we give out small leaflets about the special Easter services in my town. I'm also going to be wild releasing some booklets about the meaning of Easter just before the procession. I usually watch Ben Hurr at some time over the Easter weekend, so I may start doing this today.

As regular readers / followers will know, I've been celebrating Earth Day with a variety of posts about envioronmental issues. I was also hoping to have read some relevant books by now, but I'm still reading a chunky H.G. Wells book. Hopefully I'll finish that one today and will then be able to read at least one book for Earth Day.

How are you celebrating?

Book Blogger Hop #9

Book Blogger Hop

 Hosted by Crazy for Books

"If you find a book you love, do you hunt down other books by the same author?"

Most definatly. I always have a few collections on my shelves by my current favourite authors. I collect these until I have them all, reading them as I get them, and then I try to read through the whole lot in order before deciding if they're worth keeping for a long time or I've had enough of them. My collections at the moment are Terry Pratchett (long term), Ben Elton, Ursula Le Guin, Christian Jacq and Jasper Fforde.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Archer bought

I've just bought yet another book (couldn't resist since it came signed by the author at a decent price).

Archer by Jacky Gray
Archer is the sort of boy that things happen to. Orphaned as a baby, he has certain qualities that make him very different to all the other kids. He doesn't understand why he is so much stronger and faster than other boys his age, why a sword just feels right in his hand. or how he can fire an arrow at a target and it will hit the centre even if his eyes are closed.....

Book reusing

OK, so you have a book that you've read and decided that you don't need to keep anymore. But what can you do with it next? Here's some environmentally friendly suggestions:

  1. Pass it on to someone else. This could be a friend who wants to read it, someone online, or a complete stranger. Sites like bookmooch give you the opportunity to earn points for sending books for others, whilst bookcrossing encourages swaps, gifts (RABCKS) and wild releasing where you leave books someone 'in the wild' for others to find. Or you might consider giving to one of your local charity shops. If you have a blog or website you could even do a giveaway for it.
  2. Make some bookart. I'm not too keen on this one myself (as it makes the book unreadable), but some of you arty types might be interested. The basic idea is to make something out of a book by twisting, ripping, gluing and/or folding the pages. The result is some really amazing 'sculptures'. 
  3. You could recycle your book using a bookbank. I'm not sure about the rest of the world but in England many supermarkets have these in their carparks, as well as those at waste and recycling depots. This is a great way to get rid of those books with missing pages, or which stink of cigarette smoke.

What do you do with your books when you've finished with them. Do you have any different ways of reusing / recycling your old books?

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Freewheeling Spring Festival

Today I'm featuring a local group who like to use an environmentally friendly mode of transport.

Last weekend my local town market place was host to a cycling event. Events included cycle rides and cycle maintenance. There was also food and entertainment. You can find out more, see pictures and watch a video, on the town blog.
Freewheeling is a group that encourages bike riding through a series of weekly (or monthly) group bike rides of various levels. You can find out more about the group and sign up to join them through their website.

I must admit that I'm no longer a cycler myself and tend to relay rather too heavily on my car. When I was young I had a bike but, due to fitness concerns at the time, I was forced to get rid of it. I'm now trying to walk where possible instead, but often don't get myself organised with enough time to do so.

Do you belong to a cycling group or just enjoy cycling? Or are you over-reliant on your car?

Monday, 18 April 2011

It's Monday: What Are You Reading #10

Last week:Plain Tales from the Hills
Bedknob and Broomstick by Mary Norton

Currently reading
The Shape of Things to Come by H.G. Wells

Planned reads for next week:

A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor (bookcrossing ray)
Like a tramp, a pilgrim, or a wandering scholar' an eighteen-year-old boy set out, one wet December day in 1933, to walk to Constantinople. This book covers his journey as far as Hungary.

The World is Not For Sale by Jose Bove and Francois Dufour (for Earth Day)
The small town of Milau is south-west France was recently the scene of an extraordinary protest. Responding to America's hike of import duties on the locally produced Roquefort cheese, an angry group of local farmers marched to the site of a McDonald's fast food restaurant, then under construction, and dismantled it. They piled the building on the back of their tractors and drove it through the town in front of cheering supporters. The protest made front-page news around the world as the latest indication of burgeoning public concern about the growth of junk food and the agribusiness it depends on.

Allotted Time by Robin Shelton (for Earth Day)
Robin Shelton was at a crisis point in his life- divorced, broke and suffering from depression- when he and his trusty mate Steve decided to take on a project, a chance to achieve something solid. They decided to rent an allotment.

Meet Me O Monday #10

Hosted by Never Growing Old


1.  Caesar Salad or Garden Salad?

Ummm, neither! I prefer more exotic salads, like watercress or oriental.

2.  Will you be watching the Royal Wedding on April 29th?

I'm trying to avoid it, but I may end up watching simply because family and/or friends are.

3.  Last thing you spent lots of money on?

A whole lot of tapestries and threads to sew. Just finished the first one, a bust of nefertiti.
4.  Window seat or aisle seat?
Window, that way I can look outside when I begun getting travel sick from my reading.
5.  Do you know your blood type?
Yep. I went to give a blood donation a while ago and then they sent my blood type through the post to me. 

Even more buys

I know what you're thinking, when will this girl ever stop buying books?! Well the answer, obviously, is never! I love buying book just as much as I love receiving them for free. Browsing the shelves for something that will interest me is a great pasttime (if an expensive one).
Now, I know I've commented about how hard it can be to get good Christian fiction. Well, at this point I'd like to make a recommendation for the Christian bookshop in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK. It has a whole bookcase worth of Christian fiction (of all different genres), much better than any other I've seen in England so far.  Anyway, this post is supposed to be about what  I've bought:

Inside Prince Caspian by Devin Brown
If you found Narnia through the wardrobe, you may think you know all there is to know about this mystical land. But you've only just begun the journey. In Prince Caspian, there is much to discover. Tracing through Prince Caspian chapter by chapter, Devin Brown explores fascinating symbols, hidden meanings, and easily missed details that swirl in and around the return to Narnia- all to the delight of bok lovers and film fans alike. If you're ready to be transported back into the magical world of Narnia, this careful literary analysis is where you should start.
I thought the previous book in this series, 'Inside Narnia', was really good so when I saw this one I just had to get it. I'll no doubt be watching the movie again before I read this one (and maybe reading the original book and watching its accompanying movie as well).

Leonardo's Chair by John DeSimone
Paul LaBont is an up-and-coming artist who wants nothing more than to break free from the shadow of his father, the classical painter Victor LeBont. But Paul iss pulled even deeper into his father's world when the source of his father's inspiration, Leonardo's chair, is stolen. The loss of this chair and his talent plunge Victor into upper despiar. Seeing his father overcome by unbearable grief, Paul sets out to reclaim the chair from the Duke of Savoy, the prime suspect.

Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist
From the day she arrives at the Biltmore, Tille Reese is dazzled- by the riches of the Vanderbilts and by Mack Danvers, a mountain man tuurned footman. When Tille is enlisted to help tame Mack's rugged behaviour by tutoring him in proper servant etiquette, the resulting sparks threaten Tillie's efforts to be chosen as Edith Vanderbilt's lady's maid. After all, the one rule of the house is no romance below stairs.  

I also bought a book in the independent bookstore in Wallingford:

The Great Magician by Christian Jacq
I love (and collect) Christian Jacq novels, so when I saw this first in a series that I haven't yet got I just had to buy it. At the end of this post I'll be off to add the rest of the series to my wishlist.
Thamos, Count of Thebes, is one of the last members of a spiritual brotherhood, keeping alive the secrets if the pharaohs. Now he has been entrusted with a vital mission, He myst leave Egypt for the cold lands of Europe to find and protect the 'Great Magician', a genius whose works will save humility.  

Celebrating Earth Day 2011

What is Earth Day (from the official website)
The first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

To celebrate Earth Day, during the next week this blog will be focusing on environmental issues. I will also be reading and reviewing some books about the environment. I'd also like to hear from you- if you're doing anything to celebrate Earth Day then please let me know in the comments. Plus, if you'd like your event to be featured then leave contact details in the comments and I'll be in touch with you.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Reading About Libraries

So, you've decided your a library addict. You've borrowed the books, signed the petitions but still want more. Well, why not read about libraries as well?! The following are some of the fiction  books I've come across about libraries (allowing you to dream that they're yours)- do feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.

The City of Dreaming Books
Really gets to the heart of the joy (and obsession) of reading. Also felt some ressonance with my current writing situation. I found myself getting more and more into the book as it progressed until very near the end. However the pictures sometimes got in the way of this process, especially when they didn't seem quite as scary as what I already had in my head.  

The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde
Another ingenious tale of bookworld by Jasper Fforde, this tale satirises the very process of writing itself. Funny and witty, this book is often hard to put down. Fforde's work is pure genius, his characters are surprising despite (or maybe because of) many being well-known by many an avid reader. Its hard to classify what genre his work forms, but this particularly book is more closely related to the detectove genre than any other. Jasper's work is enhanced by the presence of imaginative credits, adverts and, on his website, behind-the-scenes footage (accessed via the book's very own password). Highly recommended. 

Voices by Ursula Le Guin
A gentle tale of what it means to discover yor talents and role in life, set within a place where rreading is banned. I really sympathised with the characters who had once had books- I couldn't imagine a world where I wasn't allowed to read! The character of Memer was well thought out and rounded, whilst the Waylord was interesting and thought-provoking. I also loved the way in which the relationships between the conquered and the conquerers was explored. This book is joining the other books in my Ursula Le Guin permenant collection.

Book Beginnings- 15th April 2011

Hosted by A Few More Pages

The Shape of Things To Come by H.G. Wells
The unexpected death of Dr Philip Raven at Geneva in November 1930 was a very grave loss to the League of Nations Secretariat.

The Friday 56 #6- The Shape of Things To Come

The Shape of Things to Come by H.G. Wells
There is a vast literature both of fiction based on experience and of personal reminiscence about it, and some of it is admirably written; almost any of it may be read for interest and edification, and hardly any of it need be read with scholarly precision.

Bedknob and Broomstick by Mary Norton- A Review

The first thing that strick me when I read this book was how little I remembered of the film (I'll have to watch it again some time) and that the scene I remembered most (set under sea) wasn't there at all in the original text. Despite this I really loved this gentle read, addressed directly to the child reading (or the child at heart reading) and full of magical happenings. I also loved the references to history and the way the children in the story innocently didn't seem to expect much to be different. A super quick read for an adult, or a more fulfilling read for a child. Worth its status as a classic!

Stream of Suggestions: Plain Tales from the Hills

It's been a little while since I made a 'stream of suggestions' post, so I guess I better start by telling (or reminding) you what its all about. The basic idea is to follow a 'stream' of readinng from one book to the next, reading books or authors mentioned ('suggested') in the previous book. I signed up for this as a challenge and renewed my participation a year later.  Its the only challenge I'm doing at the moment (about from challenging myself to read more Christian books) and its really interested to study what books each author thinks are worth a mention.

So far I have followed the stream through:
To Say Nothing of a Dog
Three Men in A Boat
Plain Tales from the Hills

Plain Tales from the Hills mentioned:
The Bible
Arabian Nights

Whilst reading the bible from cover to cover would fit nicely with my 'Biblical Personal Challenge' I think it might take rather too long for this activity so, since I already havve it on my TBR shelves, I''m probably going to go with Arabian Nights next. I wonder where the stream will takke me after that?!

Are you taking part in the 'Stream  of Suggestions' Challenge? What other books / authors are mentioned in your current read? Do keep an eye out, you may find some interesting results!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

It's arrived!

My First Reads (Goodreads) book has just arrived all the way from Canada. It looks like a really interesting books- full of  pieces of music and the stories behind them. I shall enjoy learning how to play these on my keyboard.

Do you know any stories behind pieces of music? Do share by posting in the comments.

Library closures

I've been talking about library closures quite a bit recently. I thought it was about time that I showed you what was actually happening here in the UK. So, here's a google map showing where libraries are set to be closed across the country at this time (its constantly changing as councils announce cuts or change their minds after protests).

Click here to view on the original webpage- with guide to colours.

Are any libraries closing in your area? Have you been part of campaigns to stop them closing?

Theme Thursday- Emotion

Theme Thursdays

Hosted by Reading Between the Pages

And this week’s theme is ……..



Bedknob and Broomstick by Mary Norton

'Oh, Miss Price,' murmered Carey rather sadly. She shared Paul's disappointment.

 Note: Apologies, I'm not meaning to shout, but blogger seems to have decided to turn small letters into capitals in  this post and I can't get them to change back. Try covering your ears, maybe it'll make it better ;)

Third Sentence Thursday #7- Bedknob and Broomstick

Hosted by Sniffly Kitty

Bedknob and Broomstick by Mary Norton
One summer they went to Bedfordshire to stay with an aunt.
Sounds a bit boring to be honest. I hope their aunt is the sort who spoils them and gives them lots of sweets- mind you, that wouldn't make a very exciting story would it?!

Plain Tales from the Hills- A Review

A series of short stories encompassing a range of styles and moral tales. There were sections of this book which I really enjoyed, sections which I found charming, some which I found educational and others which were hard because they were written as if someone was speaking with a strong accent. The whole book felt dated, but not necessarily in a bad way. It was almnost funny sometimes to see how attitudes and moral standards have changed since the book was written. Definatly worth a delve into, although you could find yourself skim-reading a tale or two.

If you're in the UK and want to read this book please leave a comment with contact details. If you can catch me before I wild release this book then it can be yours!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

WoW Weekly 100 words #5

Hosted by Ruthi Reads

Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling
My friends Mulvaney and Otheris had gone on a shooting-expedition for one day. Learoyd was still in hospital, recovering from fever picked up in Burma. They sent me an invitation to join them and were genuinely pained when I brought beer- almost enough beer to satisfy two Privates of the Line... and Me. ''Twasn't for that we bid you welkim, Sorr,' said Mulvaney sulkily, ''Twas for the pleasure av your comp'ny.' Otheris came to the rescue with- 'Well, 'e won't be none the worse for bringin' liquor with 'im. We ain't a file o'Dooks. We're bloomin' Tommies, ye......

Borrowed and bought books

I'd like to share with you now some of the books I've borrowed or bought at my local library. Whilst I don't use the library as much as I probably ought to I do enjoy using it to try out new books or to find the next in a series that I'm desperate to read, but am not sure if its worth buying. Other times I might just pop in to browse and find a real gem that I wanted to read. I've also been lucky enough to be able to buy cheap books at my library until recently and I've used this to get hold of extra copies of books I think would be good for bookcrossing. Where possible the following include reviews so that you can decide if this book is for you as well:

Borrowed Books

Star Warped
A very funny (and sometimes adult) take on the Star Wars Trilogy combined with all sorts of other science fiction and comedy references. Light-hearted, it made a change from my usual reading and was easy to read at the same time as another book.
Second Sight
An often moving story spanning several generations, Second Sight is hard to put down. I found myself feeling part of the extended family whose emotions and experiences we were told so much of. The only thing I wish for this book is that the story had carried on for just a few more pages.
A Theory of Relativity
Interesting story delving into the issues surrounding adoption and child custody. Was a little slow at the start and ocassional US references sometimes lost me. Final chapter, from child's POV, made a lovely ending.

The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde
Another ingenious tale of bookworld by Jasper Fforde, this tale satirises the very process of writing itself. Funny and witty, this book is often hard to put down. Fforde's work is pure genius, his characters are surprising despite (or maybe because of) many being well-known by many an avid reader. Its hard to classify what genre his work forms, but this particularly book is more closely related to the detectove genre than any other. Jasper's work is enhanced by the presence of imaginative credits, adverts and, on his website, behind-the-scenes footage (accessed via the book's very own password). Highly recommended.
Monsieur Pamplemousse and the Carbon Footprint by Michael Bond
A tale with an unexpected ending and some funny moments, 'Monsieur Pamplemouse and the Carbon Footprint' is a good light read. I couldn't help thinking, however, that I had missed something on several ocassions. Whilst the subject is adult at times, the telling keeps some resembance to the Paddington Bear stories for which Michael Bond is famous. I appreciated the story, but will not bother to read more in the series 
The Stupidest Angel
Hilarious, witty and perverse at the same time, this book is a must-read for any adult, especially if they're struggling with the stresses Christmas can bring. Picking up this book at the local library, I wasn't sure if it would be right for me, but it turned out to be so strange that it was good. Horror and humour put together with pure genius.
Star Trek Destiny: Book 3 Lost Souls by David Mack
I wish I'd read the first two books before I read this one. A lot of the characters (and some species) were new to me and it took me a little while to settle into the plot. However, once I'd worked out what had already happened, this was a good journey back into the world of Star Trek. I loved the fact that a lot of characters from the TV series were featured and the interactions between them were obviously well thought out. There were several sub-plots interlinked which worked well and was especially well done considering that two completly diferent time periods were used. All in all, a very good book for Trekkies and a good escapist read for other sci-fi fans. Just one warning though, if you're a fan whose not watched the TV series to the end you may find a few spoilers in this one!  

Bought Books

The True History of Paradise
Girl Meet Ape
Oxford Knot
Well-written, this book was very enjoyable to read. Its portrayal of a novelists life was very convincing and the mystery was enough to keep you reading. I would certainly recommend this book. 
The Truth
Stone Cold

Which of your reviewed / bought books have come from your library?

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Local library changes

There have been so many changes in my local library recently that I thought it was about time I dedicated a post to them. Against the tide of closing libraries that has sprung up accross the country recently, my town's branch has had a makeover. The result is the feel of a modern and spacious library, much more welcoming to the general public. So, what changes have they made:
  1. The large checkout desk which dominated the entrance space has been moved to the side of the room and reduced in size. There are still staff there to help out, but the importance of the desk to the room as a whole seems to have decreased.
  2. New shelves have been placed where the library desk used to be. These are of a low height so that you can see the rest of the library easily. On them are displayed a whole range of 'highlighted' books, encouraging readers to try something new.
  3. There is now an automated checkout system. I must admit that I was a bit worried about this when I first heard it was going ahead, because a lot of the library users seem to be quite old and might not be technically minded. However, I am really impressed with how easy the system is to use. To return a book or books you simply place it/them ontop of the machine. That's it! Easy! To check-out books is a little bit harder, but only slightly as it just involves scanning your library card first. You even get a nice receipt to help you remember when to return the book (which could double up as a useful bookmark if you were desperate). 
  4. Some of the non-fiction books have been moved downstairs. This is fantastic as hardly anyone ventures upstairs, so they'll hopefully be used a lot more now.
  5. The for-sale shelves have been got rid of. Now, this is the only thing I'm disappointed by. I loved popping in and feeling like I was supporting the library's finances by buying up books cheap that they no longer used.
I'm really pleased with my library's revamp. Now you've had a taste of what my local library is like, why not tell me about yours as well?

Teaser Tuesday #12- Plain Tales from the Hills

Hosted by Should Be Reading

Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling
I wish I could describe the scene that followed. It was out of the ordinary and most improper.

Readathon wins

I can't believe my luck! Whilst completing my first readathon I won a book from The Book Depository in a mini-challenge and then, when I thought it had all finished, I discovered that I'd won yet another readathon prize! Thankyou ever so much! As I have so many books already, I'm looking forward to saving up my bookmooch points for when I feel I have enough space to add a few more books to my pile.

Monday, 11 April 2011

National Library Week in the US!

Happy National Libraries Week to all my american followers! Libraries are a very special thing, incredibly valuable and useful in my opinion. I'd like to spread the love of libraries around the world by making it Library Week on my blog as well. So, all this week, I'm going to be posting about libraries over here in the UK. I'd love it if you'd join me, no matter where you live!

To start us off, I'm going to repost an evaluation of the value of libraries to me personally for those who missed it. Later in the week I'll be telling you some more about my local library (and its recent revamp) and sharing some of the books I've borrowed from the library with you.

How the library has impacted my life (first posted 5th Feb 2011)

So, I turn on the TV this morning and hear on the news that today is a national day of campaigning against library closures. Right, I think, I wish I didn't have other plans for today so that I could join in. And then I realise that with only a few moments I too can join in- for I have a blog and a wealth of followers who appreciate the value of books. And so this post was born.
Books have always been a part of me, and so have libraries. My Dad's a librarian, so they were always bound to be an important aspect of my life. From a financial viewpoint, without libraries I wouldn't have a roof over my head or food on th table. Please spare a thought for those who could become unemployed during hard financial times should our libraries close.
My personal obsession with libraries started young. I used to visit the local library with my Mum to pick out my favourite books and as I grew up I became an avid fan of the mobile library that stopped down our street. In primary school I was a library prefect along with my best friend. Our job was to look after the books (including reepairing them), make sure they were returned on time, stamp them and shelve them. I really felt that I was helping the school by doing this job since the pupils needed the library for reference books as well as a literary education.
When I was at secondary school the local library became a place to hang out and wait for my mum to finish work. This allowed us to have some quality time together walking home, going out for coffee or going swimming. I used the librar computers to access the internet and enjoyed browsing the shelves for undiscovered treasures. I did my homework on the large tables that they provided and made use of reference books which we didn't have at home.
During sixth forrm I used the library to access maps for my coursework. And, of course, I continued to enjoy reading fiction books.
Whilst at university discovered the joys of a really big public library. With a small flat and little money it was impossible to buy all the books I wanted to read. Almost all my reading, therefore, was in the form of library books. I went regularly between and after classes and soon I had read nearly all the science fiction books.
The library also helped me to find funding during my gap year through its register of organisations with grants.
Nowadays I visit the library less often (I am lucky to be able to store plenty of books I want to read and get more through bookcrossing), but it is still an important part of my life. I buy cheap books to bookcross, especially those which I have already enjoyed reading. I check the shelves for books which online bookclubs I belong to are reading. I ocassionally pop in when I'm passing to see if they have the next book in a series or a random book I might enjoy. And I check the noticeboard in the foyer to see if there are community events that I am interested in.
For me the library has been a source of books when there were none, I place to relax and wait when I needed it, an educationally tool essential to my schooling and a source of information. Of course these are not the only uses of the library- my local also has story-teller, children's holiday clubs and DVD rental to name a few- but they are the ones that have been most important to me.
How has the library impacted your life?

Giveaway Winners!!!!!!!!!!!

I've had 4 giveaways recently, but unfortunately I only seemed to get entries for one of them :(
If anyone has any tips on how to get entries (bearing in mind thatg I can't usually send outside the UK) please leave me a comment.

There will be another giveaway when I reach 100th followers! Depending on perceived interest, this could be UK, EU or international!

The Winner(s)

50th follower giveaway
UK only
Prize: The Olive Farm
No entries (wild released instead)

Readathon Giveaway Number One
EU only
Prize: 2 large release bags, 10 assorted bookcrossing bookplates, 1 months worth of wings
Winner: chamonix44 (will be contacted via bookcrossing)

Giveaway 2
Magnetic bookmarks
No entries

Readathon Giveaway No3
UK only
Prize: signed copy of King of Right by Blood and Might by Anna L. Walls
No entries (to be offered as RABCK on bookcrossing)

Winners are chosen by Random Thing Picker

Musing Mondays #4

Hosted by Should Be Reading

If you’re a mood reader, what (genre) do your moods usually call you to read?

I don't tend so much to feel like reading a particular genre as a particular author. Quite often its the latest author I've found interesting- for instance Jasper Fforde tend to be the one at the moment- but it can be other authors that I know the style of. These have included H.G. Wells, Ursula Le Guin, Terry Pratchett and J.R. Tolkein amongst others. Sometimes I also feel drawn to particular series, for instance Star Trek or Stargate books (actually, these seem to be mostly Sci-fit series mainly). 
In summary, I'm usually drawn more to a style of writing than an actually genre. 

What's your status 11th April 2010

Hosted by Butterfly Feet Walking On Life

Finished reading this week
Voices by Ursula Le Guin
Bongo Bongo Bongo I Don't Wanna Leave the Congo by Veronica Cecil
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
King by Right of Blood and Might by Anna L. Walls

Currently reading
Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling

Next on my TBR Pile
Bedknob and Broomstick by Mary Norton
The Shape of Things to Come by H.G. Wells

Sunday, 10 April 2011

End of Hour 24- The Finish Line

Well, I've really enjoyed my first ever Dewey's 24-hour readathon. It was a challenge to stay awake at times, but I'm glad I did. Its been lovely to see so many people visiting the blog and I'd like to say thankyou to those who took time to post a comment. And I've managed to get through both my ring reads and 1 book for review, as well as starting a new 'stream of suggestions' book. I'm going to take a well deserved rest now before I announce the winners of the giveaways- all of which are now closed!

Please feel free to post comments about what you've thought of the readathon, either as a participant or a reader of this blog.

Reading Record
Hour 24- 20mins
Grand total = 11h 20mins

End of event survey (see post)

End of event survey

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

I think probably hour 14 because it was very early morning over here and I'd had to force myself to get up form a nap.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

The book I read for the readathon which sparked the most interest seemed to be 'Bongo Bongo Bongo I Don't Wanna Leave The Congo by Veronica Cecil.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Not really. As stated before, I'd rather have started in the morning but you can't please all countries!

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

I enjoyed the variety of mini-challenges, some quick and others longer.

5. How many books did you read?

I'm currently on my 4th book

6. What were the names of the books you read?

Bongo Bongo Bongo I Don't Wanna Leave the Congo by Veronica Cecil
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
King By Right of Blood and Might by Anna L. Walls
Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

Bongo Bongo Bongo

8. Which did you enjoy least?

So far, Plain Tales from the Hills

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?


10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I'd love to, as long as my schedule allows it. I'd be a reader again. 

End of Hour 23- Now its the final countdown

Sorry, couldn't resist!
So, its the final hour of the readathon and I'll soon by summing up what's been going on here in the last 24 hours. In the meantime please do consider entering at least one of the three giveaways currently running on 'The Story Factory Reading Zone'- they all close at the end of the readathon!

What will you be doing to mark the end of the readathon?

Reading Review
Hour 23- 30mins
Total so far = 11hrs

End of Hour 22- Approaching the finishing line

I'm starting to get rather tired now. And my reading seems to be getting less per hour. I think its time for a brief walk to wake myself up again. *chants to self 'must keep going', 'must keep going'.........*

Reading Report
Hour 22- 25mins
Total so far = 10h 30

King by Right of Blood and Might by Anna L. Walls- A Review

The preface to this book really caught my attention, I was immediately transported into another world- a world that I had not expected at all after seeing the cover. For this is a world in which ordinary people have special powers and being born a king doesn't necessary mean that you know how to do the job. After the exciting and intriguing preface the main book started off slowly. I was craving for some descriptions of the characters that I could get my teeth into and some references as to how the events described in the preface had affected them and made their world different from the medieval one I had expected before starting my read. At moments the vivid descriptions were there, and I found myself hoping for them consistantly. These concerns were dispelled, however, as I got to know the characters more through their actions. Our hero turns out to be quite a complex character with a huge task ahead of him. There was so much story here that it could have filled two or maybe even three books, and sometimes events happened so suddenly that I had to re-read them to check I hadn't missed anything. Overall it was quite an easy read though, which brought me much enjoyment.

Thankyou to Anna L. Walls for sending me a copy of her book and openly supporting my policy of honest reviews.

If you live in the UK and are interested in this book then check out my giveaways for information of how to win a signed copy!

End of Hour 21- Reading Places

During the last hour I've finally been able to get outside into the sunshine. Its lovely to read sitting on a garden bench with a warm breeze flowing over my bare feet. I'm back inside now to do this post, but I'm bound to be outside again soon with the book that I started only 15 minutes ago

Where do you enjoy reading the most?

Reading Record 
Hour 21- 35mins
Total so far = 10hr 5min

Book Finished: King By Right of Blood and Might by Anna L. Walls

End of Hour 20- Satisfaction Guaranteed

I'm feeling really pleased with myself now having surpassed the number of hours I thought I could manage. Plus, I've won the Story Sequels mini-challenge
During the past hour my actually reading time has been slightly less because I felt it was about the right time to have some breakfast. Now I'm looking forward to reading in my garden for a while since it seems to be getting just about warm enough on this sunny morning.

Why not tell us about one of your greatest achievements.

Reading Report
Hour 20- 30mins
Total so far = 9h 30

Mini-challenges won
Story Sequels

End of Hour 19- Reading Reports

Someone made a comment on one of my posts saying that they could hardly believe I'd been reading for most of the readathon. Well I can hardly believe it either! I've only slept for one of the hours of the readathon and have read for just under half of the 19 hours of the readathon once my breaks are removed.

I'd be interested to know:
If you are doing the readathon, how many hours have you done? Also, what's the longest time you've ever stayed awake for?

Reading Report
Hour 19- 25min
Total so far = 9h

Readathon giveaway No3

Up for grabs to all you folks in the UK is my signed copy of 'King by Right of Blood and Might'. I am the only reader of this copy as it came straight from the author! It has a bookcrossing bookplate inside, but its placed very neatly so it shouldn't be any problem should you wish to keep the book on your shelves. This is an extract from the synopsis on the back of the book:
It is a story about a young prince who must learn how to run a country from sources other than his father. His father, the king, has been a paranoid recluse ever since his own father died and he ran his family accordingly. During that time, the infrastructure of the country collapsed and many of its citizens were enslaved or taken away......
This giveaway closes at the end of the readathon. If there are no entries at this time then I will offer the book as a RABCK on BookCrossing instead.

To enter simply post a comment somewhere on the readathon posts saying that you want to enter giveaway 3. Please make sure you include a way to contact you, or a link to somewhere I can find it out.

End of Hour 18- Giveaways and Winnings

I'm nearing the end of my 3rd book now and that means that very shortly I'll be posting a giveaway to win it. You will have seen that this will be the third giveaway that I'm running during the course of the readathon. I've tried to cater for all my readers by making one international, one for the EU and one for the UK only. The bookcrossing giveaway is proving particularly popular at the moment and I'm hoping entries for the bookmarks will kick off soon. In the meantime I'd like to know:

What giveaways / competitions have you run or entered recently? Have you won any prizes?

Reading Record
Hour 18- 45mins
Total so far = 8hr 35

End of Hour 17- Morning Moments

My reading pace is beginning to increase once again as a new day dawns. Its 6am and its lovely to read amongst the chirrups of birds out in the garden. I'm really looking forward to later in the day when I can read in the sunshine.

What sounds happen where you are in the mornings?

Reading Record
Hour 17- 45mins
Total so far = 7h 50

End of Hour 16- Keeping Moving

One of the things I've noticed when I've spent long periods reading in the past is that its easy to start going slower and slower, both in your reading and movements. To try and stop this happening I've been working aout a routine of going to fetch drinks and snacks. During the past hour I decided some greater exercise was in order. I would have liked to go for a walk, but since its only 5am here and pitchblack that wasn't really an option. So I decided to do some Wii Fit instead. Very please with the outcome- my 3rd highest score ever despite the early hour. Viva la readathon!

What sort of exercise do you like doing? What time is it where you are?

Reading Record
Hour 16- 35min
Total so far = 7hr 05

Mini Challenge
Story Sequels

Comments made on other blogs: 1

Mini-challenge- sequel to 'The Professor and The Housekeeper'

Story Sequels is a meme that asks us to create a synopsis for a sequel to a book read during the readathon. Mine is for a sequel to 'The Professor and The Housekeeper which I finished a few hours ago.

Root has good reasons for being fascinated by the number 28, after all it is a perfect number! But can two figures dominate a life too much? And will his work relationships stand the strain of this one numerical one? And can life ever really be perfect?

End of Hour 15- Story Sources

For the last few hours I've been reading a book called 'King of Right By Blood and Might'. I received my copy from the author, Anna L. Walls, who was looking on goodreads for people to review it. This is the first time I've received a book from an author, I get most of my books either from bookcrossers or second-hand book shops (with the ocassional new one as well).

Where do your books come from? Are they second-hand or new? Do you accept requests for reviews?

Reading Report
Hour 15- 40min
Total so far = 6h 30

Now All We Need is A Theme Song

End of Hour 14- Snack Situation

The last half hour seemed to go particularly fast, although my reading pace is now slowing. I was starting to get a headache and thought it was because I was tired but after a snack I felt a lot better so I must have been hungry. I had a date and cashewnut bar to renew my energy and am planning to have some toast with jam during the next hour to give myself a sugar rush.

What was the last thing you ate?

Reading Record
Hour 14- 30min
Total so far = 5h 50

End of Hour 13- Rest time

I decided to take a rest in the 13th hour and went for a nap. Awake again now and ready to get on with the reading once more. Before I went to sleep I just had time to do one challenge.

At Random

End of Hour 12- Half way!

That's it, past the half way point! And I'm also celebrating over 5 hours of reading during that time!

Reading Review
Hour 12- 30min
Total so far = 5hr 20

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa- A Review

I wish I'd had a maths teacher like The Professor! This book actually made me take interest in a subject which I grew bored of 20 or so years ago. And the relationships were explored magnificently. I only wish now that I didn't have to pass this ray book onto the next participant.

Mid-Event Survey

Welcome to the meme that marks the official mid-way point of the readathon. Do check out the link post for other participants.

1. What are you reading right now?

King by Right of Blood and Might by Anna L. Walls (a signed copy sent to be my the author for review)

2. How many books have you read so far?

2, I'm on my third now.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

I'm hoping to read Plain Tales from the Hills to congtinue the 'stream of suggestions' challenge that I've had quite a long pause on (since last September).

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?

I cheated slightly on this one, as I've just read around the other things that I had to do.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

Yes, a few. My main interruption was going to a singing session- I minimised this interruption by counting the reading of the hymns towards my reading time. More annoying disruptions have been my family asking me to do things when I was reading and having to break off to have meals- something I've really just had to bear and grin

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

2 things- the fact that I'm still awake and the number of people who have visited my site seemingly as a response to it.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

Not really. I would have preferred it to start in the morning my time, but I guess somebody has to start at an akward time.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?

I think I'd make it clearer to my family what it involved and when I was doing it. I'd also consider trying to set up some sort of sponsoring.

9. Are you getting tired yet?


10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?
Probably not original, but I'm trying to keep myself awake by posting online ever hour in a seperate room to where I'm reading where possible. This means that I have to move at least a little every hour. 

End of Hour 11- Waking up or winding down?

Almost half way now and I've just finished my 2nd book (review coming soon). Its becoming more of an effort to stay awake now since its definatly past my bedtime. At the beginning of this hour I took a shower to try to wake myself up more, but now I seem to be winding down again.

Are you waking up or winding down?

Reading Record
Hour 11- 30min
Total so far = 4hr 50

Books finished = 1

Saturday, 9 April 2011

End of Hour 10- A Mathematical Mission

Ten hours into the readathon now- I've been actually reading for just under half that time and am close to finishing my second book, so well on target to finish my minimum of 3 books.
My current read is full of mathematics and it got me thinking about what subjects I used to enjoy at school. People say that I have a very mathematical mind and I was good at maths when I was young, but by the time I left primary school I seemed to have gone backwards rather than forwards. The result was that I lost my joy of maths. Instead I preferred music and history because they were taught in a more hands-on-way. Similarly, I was never really into English except when it involved story writing or reading a book.

What subjects did you enjoy at school? Were they taught practically or through theory?

Reading Report
Hour 10- 30mins
Total so far= 4hr 20

Don't forget that I currently have 2 giveaways running- one for EU residents and one international!

Giveaway 2- Magnetic bookmarks

A while ago we had a talent fundraiser at my church. The idea was that people we given a pound and then tried to raise as much money as they could for charity using their talents and that pound. Being a bookaholic, and knowing that many people in my church also liked reading, I decided that I should do something related to books. And so, since I also enjoy computing, I decided to make some magnetic bookmarks.

To celebrate reaching the 10th hour of the readathon I'd like to offer personalised magnetic bookmarks (made by me) to some of my readers. As they're light to post this giveaway will be open internationally. To enter simply post the picture that you would like to be made into a bookmark in the comments section of this post. If you state that you are a follower of my blog (I will be checking so please use the same name) then I'll count you in for an extra entry. Winners (number depending on how many enter) will be chosen at the end of the readathon and contacted using details on their follower profile.

End of Hour 9- Refreshing the mind and the body

I'm about two-thirds of my way through Book 2 now and beginning to feel tired. The hot weather of the day has turned to night and I feel ready for bed. But I'm determined that I will complete as many hours as possible of this readathon and am therefore striving to stay awake.

Somewhere between 9pm and bedtime I normally have a glass of chocolate soya milk. As the clock ticked towards 9 I began to crave me usual daily treat. However there was one slight problem- this chocolately drink makes me tired and ready for bed, yet I wasn't wanting to tire quite yet. So, I decided to try something new and make a sort of cold soya mocha by adding coffee powder. And, to my surprise, it worked! So now I have a new drink to try when I want to stay awake.

Do you have any bedtime routines? Do you have anything you like to drink to keep awake?

Reading Record
Hour 9- 45mins
Total so far = 3hrs 50mins

Mini Challenges
Book Club Recommendations

End of Hour 8- Time Flies

The old saying goes- 'time flies when you've having fun'. Well, time has certainly flown for me during the past hour. I guess I really must be having fun with my latest book! I've read about a third of it in the last hour, despite it not being the easiest read since its full of mathematical equations.

Is time flying for you? Are you having fun reading or is something else affecting the timing of your life?

Reading Report
Hour 8- 25min
Total so far = 3hr 05mins

Bongo Bongo Bongo I Don't Wanna Leave the Congo by Veronica Cecil- A Review

Wow, what a long title! You'll probably be glad to know that this book is proportionatly nowhere near as long. Although, having said that, it was a good enough book to cope with being longer! This is a very interesting real story of life in the Congo and, particularly, the changing relationships between people of black and white skin-colours. I love the fact that Cecil talks about this very openly, as the issues can often be side-stepped in an attempt to be 'politically correct'. Her relationships between other people that she was supposed to get on with were also interesting. Ontop of this, I learnt a lot about a conflict that I knew had once existed, but which I didn't know that much really. Definatly worth a read in my opinion!

End of Hour 7- Presents and Postcards

So, during the last hour, I've finished my first book of the readathon (review to follow) and started my second. Both of these books are registered with Bookcrossing, the members of which often like to send out presents to each other- sort of giveaways for like-minded readers. They're also rays, which means I have to send them onto the next person in the list. Opening up my new book (The Housekeeper and The Professor) it was lovely to see a postcard featuring messages from previous readers. Although neither of these are presents to keep, to me they are presents to treasure. And that got me wondering if any of my readers collect postcards, or like sending books or postcards to other people. I would love to hear your stories.

Reading Record
Hour 7- 20min
Total so far = 2hr 40min

Books finished 1

Comments posted on other blogs 1

End of Hour 6- Reading Rooms

At the end of hour 6 I'm very close to completing my first book. But, whilst I'm really enjoying my reading, I'm also getting restless about reading in the same chair. This chair is in the living room and, as well as reading in it, its been my seat throughout my drink breaks, blog posting and dinner. What with being in it all that time and the fact that my family is bound to want to sit down for their evening TV viewing soon, its probably time to find somewhere else to read for a while. Maybe my bedroom or study would be good.

Where do you like reading?

Reading Record
Hour 6- 15mins
Total so far= 2hrs 20mins

Don't forget that if you're in the EU, you can enter my bookcrossing giveaway now!

Readathon giveaway No1

To celebrate reaching the 5th hour of the 24-hour giveaway I'm going to be giving away some bookcrossing goodies. These will help any budding booksharers to start their bookcrossing life.

I'm going to be giving away:
  • 2 large release bags
  • 10 assorted bookcrossing bookplates
  • 1 month worth of wins
To enter simply comment on one of my readathon posts and state that you'd like to be entered into 'Readathon Giveaway No1'- multiple entries are allowed and each comment including thw stated text will count as an entry. This giveaway is open to countries in the EU only (there will be an international competition later on in the 24 hours). I'll post who has won at the end of the readathon, at which point the winner should PM abigailann (me) on bookcrossing to receive their prize. If it is not claimed within 24-hours I reserve the right to pick a new winner.

End of Hour 5- I Don't Wanna Stop Reading

Are 5 hours really up already?! What with all the breaks I've been forced to take so far it really doesn't feel that long since the beginning of the readathon. Hopefully I'll be able to concentrate more on my reading after dinner is over with.

What distractions are stopping you / have stopped you reading?

Reading Record
Hour 5- 30mins
Total so far- 2 hours 5mins

Mini-challenges completed
Collaberative fiction
A Literary Odyssey

End of Hour 4- settling into things

OK, so I got a little confused about what hour I was on with my last post. But, hopefully, now (at the end of Hour 4) things should start to run a bit more smoothly.
During the last hour I've settled down to reading my 1st main book- Bongo Bongo I Don't Wanna Leave the Congo. I was already half way through before the readathon started and I'm making good progress, so a review shouldn't be too long in coming.

What book are you currently reading?

Reading Totals
Hour 4- 20mins
Total so far = 1hr35mins 

The Readathon Begins!!!!!

And so this is the first hour of Dewey's Readathon!
I've got my books ready, my meals planned, my mind set for reading and I'm raring to go. But, I bet you're wondering what's actually going to happen on this blog over the next 24 hours. Well, this is the post where I tell you. If all goes to plan you should see:

Reviews:Bongo Bongo Bongo I Don't Wanna Leave the Congo by Veronica Cecil
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
King By Right of Blood and Might by Anna L. Walls
and more.....

Homemade magnetic bookmarks (international)
Bookcrossing goodies (europe only)
Signed copy of King By Right of Blood and Might by Anna L. Walls (UK only)

Hourly updates on my reading progress (most hours)

I will be joining in some of the mini-challenges hosted by other blogs participating in the readathon

Other posts on book and reading related subjects, including questions for you to join in with

This is my first readathon, so please bear with me if I nod off at any point over the 24 hours. Anyone got any good tips or music suggestions for keeping awake?

Edited: I've had one response saying that someone couldn't leave comments on this post. I hope it's been solved now. Sorry for any inconvenience caused (and for the posts now appearing in slightly the wrong order)

Hours 1 and 2- Reading to Sing the Faith

The observant of you will have noticed that I did not make a post at the end of the first two readathon hours and that the one for the end of hour 3 is also slightly late. The reason for this is that I've been off doing some singing this afternoon. My church circuit has been having an event to explore the new methodist hymn book- 'Singing the Faith'. We were given a sample booklet containing music and words for some of the songs that are in the new book, which we then sang through.
I must say that, personally, I'm quite happy with the new selection. There seems to be a good mix of ones that we've used to from the current hymn book, popular ones from other hymn and/or praise books, plus some good new ones. I'm looking forward to seeing the book in its entirety now when it comes out in September.

If you attend a church, what hymn book do you use or do you not use a hymn book at all?

Reading record:
Hour 1- eating lunch so no reading :(
Hour 2- 35mins (Singing the Faith)
Hour 3- 40mins (Singing the Faith)
Total so far- 1hr 15mins

Friday, 8 April 2011

Dewey's 24-hour readathon

From 1pm tomorrow (UK time) I will bee taking part in Dewey's readathon. I know I won't be able to read for the full 24-hours, but I'm hoping to read at least a little bit each hour and take part in a few of the mini-challenges along the way. I'll update you on my reading and challenge participation as I go along, including reviews as finish each book. Do drop by to see how I'm doing.

For more information see the official website

Theme Thursday- Beauty

Hosted by Reading Between the Pages

Bongo Bongo Bongo I Don't Want to Leave the Congo
"Comme il est beau," I exclaimed as the sun started to sink, staining the river orange. Dr Kokou laughed, calling me "une anglaise romantique". The men had taken to making fun of me and my enthusiasm for "the beauties of nature".

Voices- A Review (inc cover)

Voices by Ursula Le Guin
A gentle tale of what it means to discover yor talents and role in life, set within a place where rreading is banned. I really sympathised with the characters who had once had books- I couldn't imagine a world where I wasn't allowed to read! The character of Memer was well thought out and rounded, whilst the Waylord was interesting and thought-provoking. I also loved the way in which the relationships between the conquered and the conquerers was explored. This book is joining the other books in my Ursula Le Guin permenant collection.

First Reads Winner!

I'm so happy! I've been entering the giveaways on GoodReads for a while now and have finally won something. Look out on this blog for more information about 'Songs of the Voyageurs' when it arrives and after I have read it.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

My first author sent book

Great excitement this morning- my first review requested book from an author arrived on the doormat! The book is called 'King by Right of Blood and Might' and its by Anna L.Wallis. Anna has been kind enough to sign her book to me as well, so it feels very special. I'll be posting an honest review here when I've finished.

Teaser Tuesday #11- Voices

Voices by Ursula Le Guin
I left the penny in the hollow under Lero, where people left god-gifts and poorer people find them. I still didn't care if the guards saw me, because I knew they wouldn't.

Book Blogger Directory

I've just entered this blog to be listed in the Book Blogger Directory. It's a brilliant new site to help us spread word of our blogs and increase our google listings. If you've come to us via this directory then welcome :)

Parajunkee Design

Monday, 4 April 2011

It's Monday: What Are You Reading #9

Hosted by Book Journey

Read last week (click on book title for review)
The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun
Star Trek Destiny: Book 3 Lost Souls by David Mack
Got through my target of two books read last week :) Hoping it can increase to three this week, especially since I'll be doing the Dewy 24-hour Readathon on Saturday.

This week

Voices by Ursula Le Guin (currently reading)
Ansul was once a peaceful town filled with libraries, schools and temples. But that was long ago, before the Alds came. The Alds believe demons hide in words, and so they ban reading and writing, acts not punishable by death. What few books survived are hidden in th Waylord's House for safekeeping, in the care of the Waylord, crippled by years of torture, and the daughter of his heart, Memer. And now times are changing, The Uplands poet Orrec Casper and his wife Gry have arrived, and in his voice is a clarion call, awakening a conquered people

Bongo Bongo Bongo I Don't Want to Leave the Congo by Veronica Cecil
Veronica Cecil was twenty-fiive years old when her husband was offered a job at a large multi-national compay in the Congo. Filled with enthusiasm for their new life the couple and their eleven-month-old son left the UK to set off on an African adventure....

 The Housekeeper and The Professor by Yoko Ogawa
He is a brilliant maths professor who lives with only eighty minutes of short-term memory. She is a sensitive and astute young housekeeper who enstrusted to take care of him.

Meet Me On Monday #9

 Hosted by Never Growing Old

1.  If you had to eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
That's a hard one. My immediate response is to try and be good and find a food that would fulfil all my nutritional requirements. But I suspect that such a food doesn't really exist so I guess that means I can choose anything I like without feeling too guilty *grins*. I think that I'd probably say mushrooms, because there are so many different varities that it would stop me getting too bored. I could have fun learning about all the different types and then foraging for them in the wild or learning how to grow my own. Plus, I can think of quite a few different ways to cook them- fried, baked, raw etc.

2.  Do you write your blog posts in advance or the day you post them?
I do no preparation at all for my blog posts as a generally rule. They're straight out of my head and onto the webpage.

3.  Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
Not that I know of, and I hope I never have to!

4.  What is your favorite candle scent?
That depends on my mood. I quite like vanilla, but some days I'd prefer lavender.

5.  Coffee or tea?
Definatly tea. I drink a wide variety depending on my mood, what I've eaten and how tired I am. These include 'normal', decaf, earl grey, white tea, peppermint and nettle, lapsong suchong (sp?), and camomile and honeybush. 

Star Trek Destiny: Book 3 Lost Souls by David Mack (A Review)

I wish I'd read the first two books before I read this one. A lot of the characters (and some species) were new to me and it took me a little while to settle into the plot. However, once I'd worked out what had already happened, this was a good journey back into the world of Star Trek. I loved the fact that a lot of characters from the TV series were featured and the interactions between them were obviously well thought out. There were several sub-plots interlinked which worked well and was especially well done considering that two completly diferent time periods were used. All in all, a very good book for Trekkies and a good escapist read for other sci-fi fans. Just one warning though, if you're a fan whose not watched the TV series to the end you may find a few spoilers in this one!
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