Category Archives: Books About Books

Necessary Adjustments

can't buy happiness can buy books

Hello again, fellow Bookworms!

Welcome to another helping of utter waffle! You can’t say you’re not used to it by now, lol! We’re almost at the end of September, I’m on for week 4 of my new job, and I am enjoying it very much, even if it does take a lot out of me at times. There have been times when I have come home and needed naps! I think it’s the amount of information I’m taking on board at times. Office jobs might not be physically demanding, but they can be taxing on the ol’ grey matter! Eventually, although there’ll still be things to learn, it will probably plateau out on that front and my brain cells might not feel quite so overloaded by the time I log out and shut down my computer!

For now, though, while I’m still very new, there will be necessary adjustments, and that affects the book-reading and the blogging. This blog might not be all that long, and it might be started one day and continued another. It probably won’t be the only blog where this happens, either.

I’m up to 45% of Blitzed, by Norman Ohler. Need to get on with it, book club is next Thursday, 5th October. As with certain other non-fiction books, I am enjoying it, but I feel the information can’t be rushed. I was going to say that the Nazis were a right bunch of Ben Johnsons, and make the comparison with the cheating sprinter from the 1988 Olympics, but Ben Johnson actually won on drugs before he was found out. I need another example of people cheating and still not managing to win, so I can compare the Third Reich’s pill-poppers with other cheating losers!

They took drugs, and the RAF still sorted them out! Ha! Serves them right!

As I was saying earlier, when I was telling my mum about this book, the Pervitin, which the Germans were practically wolfing down like sweets, is essentially the exact same substance we know these days as crystal meth! Sure, it kept them awake for ages at a time, but one of the other side effects of such substances is to give the user extreme confidence to the point where it becomes arrogance, and that, therefore, probably brought about their downfall. Early successes in France at the start of WWII just added to this cockiness. Some officers were expressing concerns, but those who did were often outnumbered, and just laughed-off by others who could only see the perks of Pervitin.

Anyway, enough about High Hitler and his narcotic-addled officers, there are other books to be mentioned. We are nearing the end of the month, meaning the September Review will probably be occurring this coming weekend. Probably Sunday, as United are at home to Crystal Palace on the Saturday afternoon. In all likeliness, with a full house expected, we will be back to the traffic problems in Trafford Park, and I will get some reading done on my Kindle on the way home from the match. Time to continue with Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows on my way home from Old Trafford. I had read 11% of that one last time I checked.

One of the recent acquisitions, which was bought at Waterstone’s after my last book club meeting, has been started, and I must say how much I am enjoying On Writing, by Stephen King! 23% of that has been read of that so far, so almost a quarter of the book already! It’s actually pretty funny in parts, particularly when he recalls some amusing incidents from his childhood! King might be most famous for writing horror novels, but he also has the capacity to be amusing! He’s also pretty nifty at trolling the Tango-Tinted Tosser on Twitter! Well he was until Fart sulked, stamped his little foot, and blocked the author! Donald’s maturity level wouldn’t even earn him a Happy Meal.

King wasn’t the only one turning 70 recently, though. In fact, my dad beat him to it by a few days, as his birthday was the previous weekend, turning 70 on 17th September. United won 4-0 against Everton to mark the occasion, and I gave him the biography of John Le Carré, by Adam Sisman. You may recall I’d found it and bought it a few months ago. Dad’s always enjoyed spy thrillers, particularly by John Le Carré and also by Len Deighton. Back to the Everton match for a moment… Antonio Valencia’s opening goal after 4 minutes… pure class! A volley Paul Scholes would’ve been proud to score!

I just had to post that. Goals that good deserve repeat viewings!

Anyway, I have read two full books this month. The Angry Chef, by Anthony Warner, and If I Stay, by Gayle Forman, so despite the new job and the naps, some reading has been done, lol! I might start Where She Went soon, while the first book is still fairly fresh in my mind. But I think I must be on a non-fiction fix at the moment, what with the Norman Ohler book about the Nazi druggies, and Stephen King’s book about writing books!

I think that’s about it for now. Apologies that this is quite a short one, but I think I’ve mentioned all the books I’ve focused on lately! Bit of non-book news to round off the blog… The Manchester Food & Drink Festival starts this coming Thursday! Yay! Might have to pay one or two visits to town after work… Still waiting for the dental appointments for the x-ray and extraction, though. I hope the letter comes soon, at least for the damn x-ray! So that’s my news for now. Until the next blog, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • Blitzed – Norman Ohler
  • Erotic Stories For Punjabi Widows – Balli Kaur Jaswal
  • On Writing – Stephen King
  • John Le Carré: The Biography – Adam Sisman
  • The Angry Chef – Anthony Warner
  • If I Stay – Gayle Forman
  • Where She Went – Gayle Forman
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Filed under Authors, Autobiography/Biography, Books, Books About Books, E-Books & Audiobooks, Food & Drink, Football, Manc Stuff!, Non-Fiction, Ongoing Concerns, The TBR Pile, YA Books

OCs, Match Day Books, and Recent Charity Shop Bargains…

Periodic Tales finished

Elementary, my dear Bookworms! Periodic Tales finished at last!

Hello again, fellow Bookworms!

Book number 36 finished off for 2017, Periodic Tales finally came off the Ongoing Concerns list in the early hours! As I’ve said before, I HAVE enjoyed this book. The reason it has taken some time to read it is because it’s not one of those books you can read quickly. I’m not a scientist, my dad was the chemist in our family, not me, so to take in all the information Hugh Aldersey-Williams was providing in his book meant reading it slowly.

I’ve also got other books on the go, including The Angry Chef, which is a priority as it is the current book club read, and I’ve also been preoccupied with awaiting further developments regarding my forthcoming job. I was actually contacted yesterday, and received the medical forms and suchlike via email, so I have completed and returned those to HR. Hopefully, I WILL be getting a start date very soon!

Dental pain has been another issue. I am currently awaiting an x-ray and then an extraction, but still have to put up with this stupid tooth for the time being, and getting through painkillers. Some times it’s fine, other times it’s really giving me grief, and I just want it taken out of my mouth as soon as possible. It has also affected my reading. Not only in preventing me from focusing on a book if it is hurting, but also because it has sometimes caused disruption to my sleep, and then I am tired later and not really wanting to read.

Mata retro United shirt

The Special Juan – Mr Mata modelling a retro United shirt from 1982…

Seeing as I’ve featured a very important Mata wearing a retro United shirt, there’s another match coming up this weekend, as my lads are at home to Leicester City on Saturday evening. As with the West Ham match, I shall be taking a book with me for the car journeys to and from Old Trafford. Quite likely to be The Angry Chef again, although who knows? Having now finished Periodic Tales, I have added Manchester England, by Dave Haslam, to the OC List, one non-fiction book replacing another. I am on for page 54 of 311, so 17% of that book has already been read and it joins the list in the middle of the pile. I will be using my Manchester bees cross-stitched bookmark in that one, as I also mentioned in previous blogs earlier this year.

Going back to the Special Juan for a moment – that shirt is actually older than Mr Mata! The home shirt he is wearing dates back to 1982 when we first had sponsors on our shirts. Juan wasn’t born until April 1988! I had just turned 15 when he came into the world! As I have mentioned previously, he is one of the players in contention for having his name and number on the back of my next United shirt when I get around to buying it. I still think it’s going to be between Mata 8, Matić 31 and Mkhitaryan 22. A Spaniard, a Serb or an Armenian. Waiting until after the summer transfer window closes, and I start my job, anyway…

New OC List 23rd August 2017

The OC List as it stands now…

Neither Here Nor There, by Bill Bryson, is now top of the list, but as it’s 50% read, I’ve got a way to go with all my current OCs. Going to have to have a good look at the current OCs and sort out some kind of reading strategy. The Angry Chef is the main priority as a book club book, but I need to get on with all of them, really.

Not that that has stopped me acquiring other books, been going a bit mad in the local charity shops of late, lol! We have so many round here, and thus there are plenty of bargain books to be found, including 13 Little Blue Envelopes, by Maureen Johnson, for a mere 49p, and Brilliant Orange, the neurotic genius of Dutch football, by David Winner, a book I’d had my eyes on for some time, which I got in a 3 for £1 deal at the Scope shop in Eccles. The Maureen Johnson book was in a shop in Salford Precinct, and is a YA novel which had caught my eye in recent times.

Do Not Pass Go, by Tim Moore, only set me back a quid. You may recall that I read Nul Points, by the same author, earlier this year, to tie in with the Eurovision Song Contest back in May, as it was a book about the acts which had failed to win a single vote at the ESC over the years. In Do Not Pass Go, Moore is in London, visiting all the locations on the Monopoly board, which sounds like a great idea for a book! I’m hoping it will be as good a read as it sounds!

As I have mentioned, on many occasions, I have a thing for books about books, so you won’t be surprised that one of my recent charity shop bargains was Dewey, by Vicki Myron, the true tale of how an abandoned kitten became adopted by the library of a small town in the USA.

Another recent purchase – yes, there have been a LOT of those, as I said, I’ve been going a bit mad in charity shops in recent times picking up any books which seemed like a good idea at the time, lol, and thus a copy of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling ended up coming home with me in recent weeks! Not that it had a long journey home, it was from one of the charity shops on Monton Road, as I recall, so I probably popped in while I was on my way home. From the chemist’s, I expect, after picking up my painkillers for my stupid dental pain…

The Music Shop, by Rachel Joyce, and Goodbye To Berlin, by Christopher Isherwood, were picked up at the Oxfam shop in town last week, the former of those a hardback and set in a record shop in the 80s, thus it sounded like my cup of tea, and the latter is the book which formed the basis of the musical Cabaret, starring Liza Minelli. This next one isn’t technically a charity shop book, as it was from W H Smith, but they were having Blind Date With a Book in aid of three charities, and thus my acquisition of The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, by Katarina Bivald,  has helped Cancer Research, Mind (the UK mental health charity) and, if I recall rightly, the Literacy Trust. Once again, folks, books about books…

Anyone who wants more photos of books and bits of waffle to tide you over between blog entries should get on Instagram if you haven’t already done so. I am on there, have been for five and a bit years now, since early 2012, posting as joannedj1973 and a lot of my posts, especially in recent times, are #bookstagram posts. Feel free to check out my posts – lots of piles of books, lol!

Just looking at my unpublished lists on List Challenges… There are quite a few of these lists, especially ones which are ongoing throughout the year and can’t really be published until New Year’s Eve at the earliest, or in the first day or so of 2018. For example, the list of books I have finished in 2017, and the list which goes along with this blog… the seriously massive list of every book which gets a mention on this blog during the course of the year! It doesn’t matter if I don’t even own a copy of it, let alone if I’ve read it or not… loads of books get mentioned and if they do, they go on a huge list on List Challenges. Joanne’s Bookshelf Blogs – Books Mentioned 2017. Come 31st December, or early in January 2018, I will publish this list so anyone can then see what I’ve mentioned during the course of 2017 and how many of those books they have read!

At the moment, the list stands at 464 books! So, yeah, it’s gonna be a long one, lol! At 40 books per page when a list is published, there will be at least 12 pages worth of books and that’s just at the current state of affairs as of 23rd August! It could well be even longer by the time we get around to Christmas and it’s nearly time to publish the damn thing!

There’s all sorts of stuff on that list… General fiction, young adult, children’s books, fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, and there’s all the non-fiction stuff I’ve mentioned… music, history, travel, football, other sports, autobiographies, languages, tea, coffee, and all sorts of other mad crap! It’s simply a review of all the books mentioned on here, so you’ll see four or five hundred covers representing the books I have mentioned in these blogs during 2017. If you can’t wait for this one to be published, there are some previous ones knocking around on List Challenges. Shorter lists featuring books I’ve mentioned in previous years’ blogs.

Well, I think that’s about it for now, so I shall get this published so you can read my utter waffle and wonder if the charity shops of Monton, Eccles, Salford and Manchester actually have any books left in them, lol! They do, by the way! I haven’t bought up ALL their supplies, however many charity shop bargains I appear to mention on here! Until the next time I blog, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • Periodic Tales – Hugh Aldersey-Williams
  • The Angry Chef – Anthony Warner
  • Manchester, England – Dave Haslam
  • Neither Here Nor There – Bill Bryson
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes – Maureen Johnson
  • Brilliant Orange – David Winner
  • Do Not Pass Go – Tim Moore
  • Nul Points – Tim Moore
  • Dewey – Vicki Myron
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? – Mindy Kaling
  • The Music Shop – Rachel Joyce
  • Goodbye To Berlin – Christopher Isherwood
  • The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend – Katarina Bivald

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Filed under Blind Date With A Book, Books, Books About Books, Bookstagram, Charity Shop Bargains, Cross-Stitch, Facebook & Other Social Media, Football, Handbag Books, List Challenges, Non-Fiction, Ongoing Concerns, YA Books

Chunky Monkeys

Penguin book van

Hello again, fellow Bookworms!

No, I’m not actually expecting a massive delivery, but I did like that photo when I saw it on Facebook the other night, lol, so I thought I’d use it for my blog! With progress being made on Dissolution, which is currently 62% read at time of typing, lol, you can expect a bit of blogging on historical fiction and other chunky works of literature! We are talking chunky monkeys of the literary variety here, of course, as opposed to THE Chunky Monkey, who is my nephew, Reuben!

We now have Romelu Lukaku at United, but we have Paul Pogba to thank for that, rather than the Gnome (Ed Woodward), as it seems Pog is up for recruiting some of his mates, lol! We have had something of a striker swap, as Lukaku has joined us from Everton, with Wayne Rooney returning to Goodison Park after 13 goal-filled years at Old Trafford, in which he won pretty much everything! I still maintain we need more than one striker, as we let Zlatan go, too, so we’ve only got one forward in, having lost two of them. Gnome needs to pull his finger out, he can’t just expect “Agent P” to do his job for him! I personally still want us to sign Alvaro Morata. I am NOT happy that our interest in him seems to have ended. United are being stupid if that is the case!

Oh, and Michael Carrick has been named as the new United captain, as Wazza has left us. I expect this means he’ll be club captain, and will also be team captain when he plays, but, as he is almost 36 now, it certainly won’t be every game, and I guess someone like Ander Herrera might often get to wear the armband as deputy, if that is who is named as Carrick’s understudy.

Oops, before we get back to the books from the footy, I set a question a few blog entries ago, I think it was on the blog “A Red Letter Day”, and I asked about the significance of Jenny Jones winning a bronze medal for Great Britain at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The significance was that she was the first British Olympian to win a medal on snow! Her bronze came in the slopestyle snowboarding event, whereas all Britain’s previous medals at the Winter Olympics, including the others we won in Sochi, were won on the ice! So, if anyone was waiting for the answer to that little quiz, you have the answer now, and I apologise if it’s been bugging you for a few weeks!

Right then… BOOKS!!!

I Like Big Books And I Cannot Lie…

Book club tomorrow night. No, I’ve not read The Power, well, I have but not very much of it, lol, so we’ll just have to deal with that! Not saying I won’t keep it and read it in the future, that is a possibility, but I felt the need to try to tackle the OCs, plus I got distracted by footy and my challenge to Ed Woodward, which has caused me to start the Shardlake series by C J Sansom, hence my progress on Dissolution! Enjoying it very much, by the way, but historical fiction is a genre I do tend to enjoy! As I’ve said many times, I am a very random reader, lol, but I’ve read a fair bit of historical fiction in my time, and most books in that genre tend to be quite substantial, page-wise! There are the occasional exceptions, Girl With A Pearl Earring being one of those, as that’s pretty slim, but most historical fiction novels are serious door-stoppers, lol!

Another book added to the OC list, alongside Dissolution, is One Italian Summer, by Keris Stainton, which is a YA novel. Yes, yet another work of young adult fiction on the OC list! To be fair, though, YA books are great, and I have been making progress of late when it comes to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. I had seen the Stainton novel in the YA section at Waterstone’s, and returned to it on Friday, started reading a bit and decided I had to have it.

I also bought A Quiet Kind of Thunder, by Sara Barnard, which interested me because one of the main characters is deaf, and there are bits of British Sign Language throughout the book, including the inside covers! I look forward to reading it and brushing up on my BSL – I actually have the CACDP Stage 1 qualification from way back in 1998 when I did the course at Eccles College – they were offering it as one of their evening classes back then. My BSL is a bit rusty as I’ve not really had sufficient dealings with deaf or hearing-impaired people since 1998 to keep it active and in my mind, but I can still remember a bit of it, including the finger-spelling alphabet.

It’s funny that I should have dug out a Veronica Henry novel from one of my book piles the other day, with a view to resuming The Beach Hut, as I actually found another of her books for 99p yesterday at a charity shop in Salford Precinct, the Age UK shop if I recall rightly, and thus How To Find Love In a Book Shop came home with me after my various activities in Salford yesterday! Having flicked through it, there are lists of recommended reading at various points in the book, so it may well give me more ideas, lol! It is a novel, it is fiction, but clearly some actual books are name-dropped in the plot!

Anyway, I got the calculator out earlier, well, I summoned up the calculator app on my iPad, and worked out that if I read the complete Shardlake series by C J Sansom, of which I am currently over half-way through the first book, Dissolution, I will have read 3,631 pages by the time I finish the sixth book, Lamentation! Wow! It’d be interesting to know how many pages I read when I read the Harry Potter series back in the noughties, but the first three books of that series are not very long, you only start getting the “chunky monkeys” when you get to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but you would still have read probably around two thousand or so pages at least, if you read all seven books!

So, time for me to put The Power back in my bag, even though I’ve not read much of it, lol, and have a read of some of my current OCs! I shall be finding out, tomorrow night, what’s next as far as book club reads go, but until my next blog, that’s about it for now except to say that I was over a quarter of the way through Dissolution by the time Lukaku was having his medical, and I had reached the halfway stage by the time he officially signed, so let’s see how much further I get with this series while I wait for the Gnome to make further signings! Probably best leaving that to Pogba, he seems to be doing a better job of it than Woodward, lol! I may well have started Dark Fire by the time we get news of another signing!

Until next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • Dissolution – C. J. Sansom
  • The Power – Naomi Alderman
  • Girl With a Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier
  • One Italian Summer – Keris Stainton
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews
  • A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard
  • The Beach Hut – Veronica Henry
  • How To Find Love In a Book Shop – Veronica Henry
  • Lamentation – C. J. Sansom
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling
  • Dark Fire – C. J. Sansom

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Filed under Books, Books About Books, Charity Shop Bargains, Chunky Monkeys, Facebook & Other Social Media, Football, Handbag Books, Historical Fiction, Olympic Games, Ongoing Concerns, The TBR Pile, YA Books

Four Out of Five Ain’t Bad!

Missing books found Bookstagram pic

“Don’t be sad, ’cause four outta five ain’t bad!”

Good evening, fellow Bookworms!

Good Friday today, and a very good Friday it is, too, as yours truly has found FOUR of her missing books! Meatloaf sang that two outta three ain’t bad, which is a fair point, lol, but when you’re a bookworm, and you find all but one of your notorious Missing Books, then four outta five is pretty decent, too!

Missing books found 14 April 2017

I shifted the bags in front of one of my wardrobe units to see which books were in that part, and, sure enough, four of the five missing books were there, as shown above. We have Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher, All The Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr (thus also on the Duplicate Books List), A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman, and The English Patient, by Michael Ondaatje. So, the only book still AWOL is The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy, and I really do not have a Scooby where the hell that one could have disappeared to! Not seen it for bloody ages! Used to be here in Computer Corner, but has not been here for quite some time now! Maybe I did offload it in a charity shop giveaway the other year? I don’t think I did, but I can’t be sure!

Found a few others in there, of which some I have made a mental note of their location, and others have been replaced in the wardrobe so that they can be in a more prominent place. Firmin, by Sam Savage, is one of the books I have got out to have available. A half-finished book, one of many, lol, it’s about a rat who lives in a bookstore. Ella Minnow Pea, another book about books, or at least about words, by Mark Dunn, is one of the others I have retrieved.

I have also found my very old, and sellotaped-together-many-times, copy of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4, by the late great Sue Townsend, which is fairly apt as Adrian, as a fictional character, has recently celebrated his Big 50! Dunno where The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole is, though, as I thought those two were together, but it’ll crop up some time… I know I have definitely not got rid of it. I wouldn’t. Those first two Adrian Mole books are pretty special to me and go back years with me to when I was about 11 or 12!

Some books, including most of the notorious Duplicate Books List, are now in bags as I am starting to get books together for the clear-out. One copy of All The Light We Cannot See will have to join them. The other books from the Missing Books list have not been duplicated, so they’re all staying now that I’ve found them. Actually, I’ll keep my original of the Doerr novel, and give my recently-bought copy to a charity shop or the church summer fair or something. I did pick up a charity shop bargain the other day, though, but with several books due to leave this room in the very near future, I figured that the 75p acquisition of I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You, by Ally Carter, wasn’t going to cause a serious problem in the grand scheme of things! It’s the first book in the Gallagher Girls series, about girls at a school for spies, and I do have it on my Kindle, but I only count books as duplicated if I have more than one physical copy of the book, and this is not the case for the Ally Carter book.

E-books don’t take up physical space, so it doesn’t matter to me if I have the same book as a paperback and on my Kindle as well. In fact, that is the case for a few books of mine, and sometimes it has been very deliberate, such as last year when I got A Little Life for my Kindle, already having the paperback. This is because I wanted to get some of it read on the way to Wembley, but there was no way in Hell that I was going to lug a 720 page epic novel down to the FA Cup Final and back with me, so I got it in e-book format so I could get some of it read on the way down to see United beat Crystal Palace 2-1 in extra-time last May!

[Football Fan Bookworm Problems: When you’re reading a huge epic novel and want to get on with it, but your team is in the FA Cup Final and you don’t want to lug a huge chunky paperback to Wembley and back with you…]

I had other paperbacks as Handbag Books, alongside my Kindle, and also got The Reader On the 6.27, by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent finished off while I was on the coach to Wembley for that final. Can’t remember offhand which other books I took to Wembley with me, so you’ll just have to find my blogs from May and June 2016, as those should give you some clues!

Read a bit more of The Tobacconist earlier, so I’m now on for page 50, which is 21% of the book according to Goodreads. I’m going to have to figure out what to do with the books I have found today. I had started three of the missing books – Thirteen Reasons Why, The English Patient, and A Man Called Ove, and I was a good way through Firmin when I was reading it some time ago. Maybe they could have priority to join the Ongoing Concerns?

Firmin certainly deserves to be finished, I think, rather like the way I finally got Jamrach’s Menagerie finished off this year, when I’d started that one some years ago but then left it half-read for a while for whatever reason… Probably a bout of the dreaded Reader’s Block, I expect.

My friend Liz in Alberta is not happy about the weather, and I don’t blame her in the slightest! If the weather in Canada could kindly remember that it’s supposed to be Easter at the moment, not bloody Christmas, that would be great! Ta very much! The weather here could do with being a bit better, but it’s just bog standard British bank holiday weather, really, and at least it’s not bloody snowing on this side of the “Big Bathtub”! If you’re over in Canada and up to your eyeballs in snow at the moment, I suggest you get yourself a big mug of coffee and have a good read! Talking of Canada and coffee, I was delighted to learn that Tim Horton’s is opening branches here in the UK very soon! The first one will open in May up in Glasgow, so I hope there’s at least one branch here in Manchester pretty soon! I want a box of Timbits! Not had them since I was over in Canada on holiday in October 2009!

Well, I’d better get this finished off before I start wittering on about Timbits and make myself hungry, lol! Until next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher
  • All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
  • A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman
  • The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
  • The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
  • Firmin – Sam Savage
  • Ella Minnow Pea – Mark Dunn
  • The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4 – Sue Townsend
  • The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole – Sue Townsend
  • I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You – Ally Carter
  • A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
  • The Reader On the 6.27 – Jean-Paul Didierlaurent
  • The Tobacconist – Robert Seethaler
  • Jamrach’s Menagerie – Carol Birch

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Filed under Books, Books About Books, Charity Shop Bargains, Duplicate Books List, Food & Drink, Football, Goodreads, Half-Finished Books, Handbag Books, Music, Ongoing Concerns, Reader's Block, Travel, YA Books

Joanne D-J and the Forty Bookworms

book-selfie-march-2017

Book selfie: Reading The Pie at Night, now finished, of course!

Good evening, fellow Bookworms!

Over 100 blog posts, just over 200 likes, and now 40 followers! Thank you for all the likes and follows! Much appreciated! I’m glad you enjoy my vaguely book-related waffle on the internet which has been coming in the guise of these blogs since the summer of 2010!

As far as my Goodreads Challenge for 2017 goes, I am now halfway towards my target of 30 books! I read Headhunter, by Jade Jones, yesterday while I was at band practice, my 15th read of the year. So far, things are going well as we head towards the end of March. However, this blogger is taking nowt for granted, especially after the bout of Reader’s Block she suffered last summer once she’d finished Hanya Yanagihara‘s epic novel, A Little Life! That was one hell of a book! I really enjoyed it, but it certainly took a lot out of me on the reading front, and I didn’t read any more fiction for the rest of 2016 after that! Just couldn’t get into anything which wasn’t factual! Managed some non-fiction stuff about music, food, and a few autobiographies, but my appetite for fiction had gone! I was stuffed after a 720 page epic! The literary equivalent of Mr Creosote in the Monty Python film, The Meaning of Life! I couldn’t even have managed the “wafer-thin mint” of a short story or novella, lol!

I tried reading fiction after A Little Life, but, no matter what I tried to read after that, it was like… nah… this is just not going to happen. Can’t get into this at all…

So, non-fiction it was. Good job I like factual books as much as I like fiction!

As for fiction, I’ve said this before, but let’s get away from the idea of “must reads” – people have enough of that during their education, and I think that puts a significant number of people off reading. Not a lot can be done about the fact that there’ll always be required reading during education, so the best bet is to encourage a love of reading from birth! If a child is a bookworm before he or she starts school, if that child associates reading with fun and with love, the chances are that they will always love books and will be at less risk of being put off by the occasional book foisted on them at school which doesn’t float their boat!

It’s OK to read books for fun, even when you also have to read some for school, college, university, or even work! Read a bit of what you need to read, then treat yourself with something you actually WANT to read! That would be my advice for those of you who are still at a “required reading” stage of life.

Yes, I DID enjoy some of the stuff I actually had to read during my time at school, college and uni, and the likes of Jane Eyre, Great Expectations and Pride and Prejudice will probably always feature on set lists for literature coursework! However, it’s time to focus on more recent works and maybe decide on some newer classics! We’re in 2017, so by now, anything written in 1997 will be 20 years old, anything written in 1987 will be 30 years old, anything written in 1977, which is the year which saw me start school that autumn, will be 40 years old! Music from these decades is featured on such channels as Vintage TV, so we’re talking about A Bloody Long Time Ago Now!

Even a novel such as The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, is 12 years old this year, published back in 2005, and it was 2008 when I first read it and fell in love with it enough to want to give out copies for World Book Night in April 2012 on my 39th birthday!

Books knocking around for a while

Books which have been knocking around for quite some time, lol!

In order to celebrate having posted over 100 blogs, having gained over 200 likes, and having acquired 40 followers, what should we do? Perhaps we could look at some of the books I’ve had knocking around for seemingly donkey’s years, books which include Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden, and Gould’s Book of Fish, by Richard Flanagan. The fishy one, with a pot-bellied seahorse on the cover, weighs in at just under 400 pages, so maybe when one of the “chunkies” on the OC list is finished, I could start Gould’s Book of Fish. Perhaps once I’ve finished An Equal Music, as that’s nearer to being finished than The Saffron Trail.

I could read To Major Tom: The Bowie Letters, by Dave Thompson, which has been knocking around for a while since I picked it up as a charity shop bargain. It would be rather apt given that Royal Mail have issued a set of David Bowie album cover stamps this month! With books set to come off the OC list, and one already having done so, I need new ones to go on there, lol, so I am weighing up the options!

Looks like there’s a couple of charity shop bargains on that photo! People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks, and Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters have been hanging around Computer Corner for quite some time, along with A Prayer For Owen Meany, by John Irving. That’s quite a chunky one, but having said that, let’s not forget I’ve got jury service coming up in April, so as long as no-one’s wanting me to actually sit in on a case in court, I should be able to get some epic reading done in that fortnight! That’s what I’m hoping for, anyway!

Book and bookmark rediscovered March 2017

Not only did I find one of my books, but also one of my bookmarks!

The other two books on that photo of “books which have been knocking around for a while” are non-fiction, with the autobiographical Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, by David Sedaris, as pictured above, and A History of Modern Britain, by Andrew Marr, making up the selection on the photo. It was also nice to discover one of my cross-stitched bookmarks in the Sedaris book – I’d wondered where that one had got to, clearly it was keeping my place somewhere early on as I started to read about diabetes and owls, lol!

Talking of cross-stitched bookmarks, just in case you were wondering, yes, I have started on a bookmark to celebrate United’s EFL Cup victory in February! I’ve stitched the five years we’ve won the trophy, but actually need to stitch the cup, and obviously some sort of rudimentary border around it, but the League Cup Bookmark has been started! Obviously, it’s not as long as my FA Cup Winning Years bookmark which I stitched last year, but then we’ve won the FA Cup 12 times, we’ve only won the League Cup 5 times.

Anyway, time I got either some reading or stitching done, so that’s about all for now! Until the next time I blog, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • The Pie at Night – Stuart Maconie
  • Headhunter – Jade Jones
  • A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
  • Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  • Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  • Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
  • Gould’s Book of Fish – Richard Flanagan
  • An Equal Music – Vikram Seth
  • The Saffron Trail  -Rosanna Ley
  • To Major Tom: The Bowie Letters – Dave Thompson
  • People of the Book – Geraldine Brooks
  • Fingersmith – Sarah Waters
  • A Prayer For Owen Meany – John Irving
  • Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls – David Sedaris
  • A History of Modern Britain – Andrew Marr

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Filed under Autobiography/Biography, Books, Books About Books, Charity Shop Bargains, Computer Corner, Cross-Stitch, Football, Goodreads, Half-Finished Books, Literary Issues, Music, Non-Fiction, Ongoing Concerns, Reader's Block, Television, The TBR Pile, World Book Night

Decisions, Decisions!

15-books-feb-2017

Good evening, fellow Bookworms!

I need help! Yeah, alright, you knew that already, didn’t you?! lol! What I really meant was that I need some help from fellow bookworms to assist me in deciding what to read next! I have just finished the utterly brilliant Round Ireland With A Fridge, by Tony Hawks, and therefore there is space amongst the ongoing concerns to add a new book to my literary in tray, so to speak!

Therefore, I have spread out a selection of my books and photographed them, and I thought I would consult my fellow bookworms to see what they recommend. Therefore, I would appreciate some comments on this blog entry. Helpful ones, please! Book suggestions, that sort of thing. NO spam, please! This is not a Monty Python sketch!

Apologies that the top row of the books looks a bit blurred, must have nudged my iPad when I took the photo. Sorry! Anyway, I am about to list the books, so you know what they are… I think it’s a pretty broad and random mix of books, lol! Fiction and non-fiction, bit of YA, bit of fantasy fiction…

The books are as follows…

  • A Very Special Year – Thomas Montasser
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M Pirsig
  • Skyfaring – Mark Vanhoenecker
  • Fishbowl – Bradley Somer
  • The President’s Hat – Antoine Laurain
  • Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist – David Levithan & Rachel Cohn
  • The Lady and the Unicorn – Tracy Chevalier
  • French Revolutions – Tim Moore
  • All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven
  • The Pie At Night – Stuart Maconie
  • Land of the Midnight Sun – Alexander Armstrong
  • When God Was a Rabbit – Sarah Winman
  • Mort – Sir Terry Pratchett
  • If I Stay – Gayle Forman

If you have enjoyed any of those and would recommend them, please mention it in the comments! I’ve already enlisted the help of my book group on Facebook, but every little helps, as Tesco would say, lol, and I have 35 lovely blog readers at the last count, so I wanted to include you in this!

Many thanks in advance for helping me out in this matter! Back to my usual long, waffly blogs again soon, I assure you, but for now I’m standing by for any comments! Take care and Happy Recommending!

Joanne x x x

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Filed under Books, Books About Books, European Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Handbag Books, Non-Fiction, The TBR Pile, Travel, YA Books

Getting Wembley Booked…

efl-cup-at-wembley

Good evening, fellow Bookworms!

Wem-ber-lee! Wem-ber-lee! I’m the “famous” Jo the Bookworm, and I’m goin’ to Wem-ber-lee! Yep, you guessed it – had the official confirmation today that my mum and I have got tickets for the EFL Cup Final on 26th February at Wembley Stadium between Manchester United and Southampton. Red Devils vs the Saints. That’s the cup we’re playing for later this month – the three-handled piece of silverware in the above photo.

We’d been at Old Trafford this afternoon, as today is the 59th anniversary of the Munich air crash, so Mum and I went to the service outside the stadium. It was after that when I received a text from United confirming success in the ballot for the cup final. So, with the knowledge that I will be going to Wembley, now comes the job of deciding what I’m taking with me by way of reading matter! That’s matter, not Mata, although if there was a good book about the Special Juan, I’d happily read that! Anyway, never mind our Spanish midfielder, let’s have a look on the book front…

Well, Chronicle of a Death Foretold will NOT be coming to Wembley, as I finished that one last night! On the grounds that I am still reading this one, and he’s a current player, I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic stands a very good chance of coming with me on the coach. I am likely to take my Kindle, so there’s all manner of books on there in electronic form. However, even with Ibra and my Kindle, there’s still going to be room in the purple Kipling bag for another book or two depending on chunkiness of said book(s).

Hoping to make further progress with Gary Kemp‘s autobiography, I Know This Much, but that will NOT be coming to Wembley, as I’m aiming to have that finished for the previous weekend, 19th February, so I can give it back to Sarah, along with Faster Than Lightning, by Usain Bolt. Those two books will be out of my keeping before I head down to the cup final. My book club book, If I Could Tell You Just One Thing, will also miss out on a trip to Wembley as it’s a bit too bulky and heavy. These ones are not even making the subs’ bench, as it were! The autobiographies were on loan, if you look at it in a footballing way, so they’re going back to their owner, and thus heading back to Preston.

An Equal Music, by Vikram Seth, and The Saffron Trail, by Rosanna Ley, are both in with a shout, although they are a bit chunky, especially the Rosanna Ley book.

Perhaps we could take a look at some fresh books, or at least fresh in the sense of unread, therefore “rested” and fully-fit for the trip down to Wembley? Skintown, by Ciaran McMenamin would have the distinction of not being published yet – it has another couple of months to go, as it’s due to be published on 6th April! I have found a way to get around the fact that I can’t find a book cover photo online yet – I have found a photo of the author, so I am using that for the time being and it has gone on the list on List Challenges, after The Chimes, by Anna Smaill.

There’s always The Lady and the Unicorn, by Tracy Chevalier. It was March last year, after events in Brussels, that I went looking up books about Belgium, and books set in Belgium, and Goodreads came up with the Chevalier novel on its list. I have already read and enjoyed Girl With a Pearl Earring, so I’m sure The Lady and the Unicorn should be good whenever I do get around to reading it. It could come to Wembley. Not too long, not too chunky, and some beautiful illustrations in the edition I own.

And from Belgium on to Germany, well at least German authors, as I have two books with me here which have been translated from German to English, and both of  which are a decent size and could end up as Handbag Books and even Wembley Books… A Very Special Year, by Thomas Montasser, and Fishbowl, by Bradley Somer, the former being a book about books, and the latter being narrated by the goldfish!

We could go for a translation from French – I have Soft In The Head, by Marie-Sabine Roger, lying here in a pile of books near Computer Corner, and you may remember that I read The Reader On The 6.27, by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent, in May last year, finishing it off on my way to Wembley for the FA Cup Final. However, we could go for a book by a Dutch author, but set in Italy, with The Ice-Cream Makers, by Ernest van der Kwast. Again, more reasonably-sized books which would be fine in my handbag…

me-at-ot-6th-feb-2017

I actually have absolutely shedloads of books, of course, as you no doubt know, some of which toppled over yesterday in celebration of Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s goal against Leicester City, lol, so perhaps one of those could come with me? After all, those books clearly got rather excited at United taking the lead! On the other hand, can they be trusted to behave?! Anyway, I do have just under 3 weeks to decide on the reading matter, so nothing will be finalised until closer to the time. Probably the night before the match, and it will depend on what I’m reading anyway and which of those books fit in my bag and suit my reading needs on the way to the cup final!

The photo is of me at Old Trafford earlier, and you can see the purple bag – that’s what the books would be travelling in. It’s quite a sizeable thing, so my Kindle and a few books will fit in there and thus come to Wembley with me. The main thing, today, is that we know we’re going, thus I’ve got a trip to look forward to, and for which I can start planning my reading choices, lol!

Until my next blog, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • Chronicle of a Death Foretold – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  • I Know This Much – From Soho To Spandau – Gary Kemp
  • Faster Than Lightning – Usain Bolt
  • If I Could Tell You Just One Thing – Richard Reed
  • An Equal Music – Vikram Seth
  • The Saffron Trail – Rosanna Ley
  • Skintown – Ciaran McMenamin
  • The Chimes – Anna Smaill
  • The Lady and the Unicorn – Tracy Chevalier
  • Girl With a Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier
  • A Very Special Year – Thomas Montasser
  • Fishbowl – Bradley Somer
  • Soft In The Head – Marie-Sabine Roger
  • The Reader On The 6.27 – Jean-Paul Didierlaurent
  • The Ice-Cream Makers – Ernest van der Kwast

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Filed under Authors, Autobiography/Biography, Books, Books About Books, E-Books & Audiobooks, European Literature, Football, Goodreads, Travel