Category Archives: E-Books & Audiobooks

Sit Down With a Good Book!

Hello again, fellow Bookworms!

One week of July left, folks! Latest updates on the OC front coming later, but I have been promising you some photos of the book benches in Manchester, haven’t I?! I think I posted the above ones before, and those are amongst the benches in the Arndale Centre. This event is running for two months, from 10th July to 10th September, so if you’re in Manchester at any time, get yourself a map and try to find as many book benches as you can! They all seem to be indoors, and there’s plenty yet for me to check out, as I’ve not been to Central Library yet. I have, however, been in Manchester Cathedral and the National Football Museum, and there are benches in both those locations.

These are the ones in the Cathedral ( see above). Yes, you can sit on them, but you should also explore the other side, as they are illustrated on the back as well as on the bench bits!

These ones are in the National Football Museum, so people can sit on a book bench rather than the subs’ bench, I guess, lol! There are four benches in the museum, two on the ground floor and two on the second floor.

I guess I thought, at first, it would be like when we had Cowparade, which was in 2004 if I remember rightly. Although one or two bovines were indoors, and could be found in hotel receptions and Piccadilly Station, most of the cows were outdoors, so I was a bit taken aback not to see any book benches around town, but it seems they’re all indoors. Certainly the ones I have tracked down so far! There are supposed to be some on Salford Quays, so I will have to investigate those – at the Lowry I believe, some at the theatre and some at the outlet mall. Also, if I were to take a trip back to Chorlton, where I worked for three years, I understand there’s a book bench at Chorlton Library.

Chorlton was very good for books, as anyone scrolling through my archives of this blog will discover! Not been for a while, but certainly when I was working in that part of town from 2009 to 2012, there was the Chorlton Bookshop, the Oxfam Bookshop, and several other charity shops with a decent selection of bargain books! I bought that Roald Dahl box set, which I gave Charlotte for Christmas last year, when I was working in Chorlton, and, although I’ve yet to read it, I acquired A Game of Thrones, by George R R Martin for just 79p at the PDSA shop! Despite the TV series being called Game of Thrones, the actual book series is called A Song of Ice and Fire, with A Game of Thrones simply being the first book in what is an ongoing series, with another couple of books expected in the coming years.

I think I shall have to watch the excellent Thug Notes video again before I do attempt the book – I don’t know if you’ve ever watched any of the Thug Notes videos on YouTube, and they’re definitely Not Safe For Work because of the language, lol, but they are a brilliant guide to literature! You know when you’re at school or college and you’re studying some work of literature for your English exams, and you have study guides for that particular book, like Letts’ revision guides or York Notes?! Well, Thug Notes is like a video-based guide to literature in a very colloquial way!

As you know, I’m all in favour of stuff which encourages people to read who possibly wouldn’t. I’m against book-snobbishness, and I am all for things like Thug Notes. Also, it doesn’t matter which format you read in! Hardback, paperback, e-books, audiobooks, large print, Braille… the main thing is to read for pleasure. Yes, audiobooks count, especially if they are the unabridged versions. After all, along with large print and Braille books, audiobooks are good for those with visual impairments, and are more readily available as a format than large print editions or Braille books. E-readers do enable you to enlarge the font size, so those can help, too.

Charlotte bookmark 2017

Now that my niece has had her birthday, turning 7 on Saturday, I am able to show you the bookmark I made for her. I couldn’t really post this any sooner! I need to get on and mention a few more actual books, though, don’t I? I’ve been on about book benches and a bookmark, but let’s get down to mentioning some actual reading matter!

I had One Italian Summer and Neither Here Nor There in my handbag today, and managed to get a bit of each read at lunchtime. I think Keris Stainton must be a fellow Potterhead, as there is a mention of Voldemort in her novel! With the Bill Bryson book, I was reading about his visit to Amsterdam, a city I have visited twice, although I really must go again, as I’ve yet to visit any of the museums! I am now on for a chapter about Hamburg, which I have not really visited, but I did pass through the city in 1991 when I was going to Denmark with the City of Salford Youth Concert Band. We sailed from Harwich to Hamburg on the ferry, and then our coaches drove up through Germany and into Denmark. Coming home, though, we sailed from Esbjerg in Denmark back to Harwich.

I do believe, though, that there are parts of Hamburg where the walls have been coated with hydrophobic paint. Once a surface has been treated with this stuff, it repels liquids, and it has been done to stop drunken revellers peeing against the walls! If they attempt to answer the call of nature and have a wee against the wall, the wee rebounds back on them, wetting their shoes! Ruthless German Efficiency, if you ask me! If you’re a bloke, you’re in Hamburg, and you’ve been caught short, please DO find a proper public loo! You will need Toiletten, and Herren if you have a choice of Damen und Herren. Hope that helps!

On the footy front, STILL waiting for the stupid bloody Gnome to get his arse in gear and sign a couple more players as per Jose’s shopping list! Hence the books I am getting through while waiting for pigs to fly, lol! We had another pre-season friendly last night, and it finished 1-1, thus it went to penalties and one of the most farcical shoot-outs I’ve seen in a long time! If it were a film, you could promote it thus…

Starring Manchester United and Real Madrid in…

HOW NOT TO TAKE PENALTIES!

We won the shoot-out 2-1, so Real were even more useless from the spot than we were, although some of that was due to Dave’s Saves! DDG saved a couple of theirs, and they missed the other two they failed with! Our two successful penalties were converted by Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Daley Blind, so our Dutch defender essentially won it for us. I should have a stroopwafel, then, shouldn’t I?! Dutchman scoring a goal! Thing is, I have less need for stroops now, as the Dutch players we still have at United are both defenders – Daley Blind and Tim Fosu-Mensah. I needed more stroops when RvP was still with us, but as Mr van Persie went to Fenerbahce in 2015, my stroop requirements have decreased in the past two years. I may well need Belgian chocolates, though, as we have signed Romelu Lukaku from Everton this summer, and he is a striker.

A couple of charity shop bargains were acquired earlier, from the Age UK shop in Salford, where I picked up Around the World in 80 Days, by Jules Verne, and Iris & Ruby, by Rosie Thomas, which looked interesting. Anyway, I shall get this published and then you can admire the book benches! Until next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • A Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin
  • One Italian Summer – Keris Stainton
  • Neither Here Nor There – Bill Bryson
  • Around the World in 80 Days – Jules Verne
  • Iris & Ruby – Rosie Thomas

 

1 Comment

Filed under Books, Charity Shop Bargains, Cross-Stitch, E-Books & Audiobooks, Football, Foreign Languages, Goodreads, Handbag Books, Junior Bookworms, Manc Stuff!, My Bookworm History, Ongoing Concerns, Television, Travel, YA Books

Educational Porpoises

Books that make you happy

Hello again, fellow Bookworms!

Don’t you think that above photo contains some much-needed advice?! I have lost count of the times I’ve had to rant about the unnecessary issues which seem to crop up all too often in the otherwise wonderful world of books! Therefore, I’m going to offer bits of advice and some random waffle here…

Firstly, the ONLY age restriction,when it comes to books, is for erotic novels! Such “mucky books” should only be read by those of us 18 years old or over! That, for me, is the only age restriction I would ever place on any book! If the content is of a sexual nature, it’s adults only. Otherwise, anything goes! Read above your age, read below your age. You could be 77 and reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, or you could be 7 and reading Pride and Prejudice. Whatever floats your boat!

Read books written by men, and read books written by women. If you only read one of those sets, you are missing out on some great books in the other set! Stop restricting yourself unnecessarily! It’s pointless and stupid!

The “Dead White Men” couldn’t help being white. Or male. And at least some of them may have been dead before their works finally got published! Some of them wrote some great books – don’t snub them just because you’ve heard some “right-on” person slagging them off! They didn’t choose their works to go on some literary canon or other, it wasn’t their decision, so don’t take it out on them! Try a bit of Dickens – I can recommend A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations.

PROPER diversity is about including everything, therefore in book terms, that means reading books by all sorts of authors INCLUDING some dead white men, it does not mean reading books by all sorts of authors except the DWM!

Read books by people from all around the world! Books give you the chance to “travel” when you have to stay where you are! Sometimes they can remind you of where you’ve been, or give you ideas of where you might want to go. Well, books set in real locations can, anyway. You might have a spot of bother doing this with fantasy fiction, as I’ve not yet discovered how any of us can get to Hogwarts, Narnia, Middle Earth or the Discworld! Sorry! You should still read some fantasy, though, but travel to those places is still only in our imaginations as yet. (A pity, ’cause I’d love to go to Hogwarts!)

Don’t over-analyse books and read loads of extra meanings into them! Yes, OK, you might have learned this skill at school, college or uni, and might have to apply it to certain books you are studying, but I can assure you there is NO need to apply it to any other books you’re NOT studying! I had to do it in my student days, but it’s not something I’ve bothered with since graduating! As I’ve said before, if an author describes a room as blue, it simply means the room was decorated in that colour scheme, it does not necessarily mean the author was going through a bout of depression when he or she wrote that book!

If you’ve ever read, or even heard of, A Farewell To Arms, by Ernest Hemingway, and wondered if there was such a book as A Farewell To Legs, I’m pleased to be able to tell you that such a novel does exist! It’s by Jeffrey Cohen, and it’s the second book in the Aaron Tucker mystery series. So now you know!

There’s NO shame in reading Young Adult novels when you’re an older adult! There’s some damn good stuff out there which is seen as YA – don’t be afraid to read it! Yes, even on buses, trams or trains! I was already in my late 20s when I started reading the Harry Potter series, and it was recommended to me by one of my colleagues at work.

There’s also NO shame in reading younger kids’ books, either! There’s loads of good books out there for youngsters, and you can’t beat a bit of Roald Dahl! I’ve recently read Esio Trot, one of my niece’s books.

Join a library and borrow books for free! Not just physical books, but you can also borrow audiobooks, too. You may even be able to borrow e-books which would then go on your device for a limited time, just as you would borrow a physical book from a library for a number of weeks, but you’d have to check with your local library.

Check out charity shops for cheap books! There are plenty of bargains to be had! It is still on my notorious TBR pile, but I bought The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern, from a charity shop, for a mere £1. AND it was the hardback edition! Epic Win! Also, if you do need to make space for new books, donate old ones you’ve read, or are probably not going to get around to reading, to charity shops so they can offer them as bargains to other bookworms!

As the penguin in the photo advised, read books which interest YOU! The raved-about books might not float your boat, and I myself have had issues with some of the books which have won prizes in recent years! Don’t get me started on Booker Prize Winners, lol! If you read the blurb, and the book appeals to you, read it. It doesn’t matter how popular it is, if it means something to you, that’s all you need to care about! No need to give a shit about what anyone else thinks!

If a book ISN’T grabbing you, give it around 70 to 100 pages, and if it still hasn’t done anything for you, put it down and find another book. There is NO point wasting time persisting with something you’re not enjoying, so unless you have to read it for educational purposes, or even educational porpoises, try another book. You can always try that book again later, see if it’s any better on a 2nd or even 3rd attempt, but you don’t have to finish it! Giving up is NOT a negative thing! It is a positive thing because it shows you’ve had the common sense to stop wasting your time with something you’re not enjoying, and you’ve decided to try something else instead! One day, I might try The Luminaries again, which was a book I didn’t make much progress with the first time I tried a few years ago. I swapped my original copy for a copy of Girl With a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier, which I loved, but I have since bought another copy of the Eleanor Catton novel at a charity shop, so it might end up being given a second chance.

Educational porpoises

Are there such things as educational porpoises? Who knows?!

Read fiction and non-fiction. Find factual stuff which interests you, and read about that, as well as reading stories. As I’ve said in other blogs, when I’ve been off on a rant, the ONLY distinction we ever need to make when it comes to any book is whether it is fact or fiction we are reading! We do NOT need to worry nor care whether an author is male or female! There is absolutely NO need to budget for any flying f**ks on that front, as they do not need to be given!

If you’re learning another language, try finding a translation of a book you already know in your own language. When I was studying GCSE Spanish at evening classes in the late 90s, I bought myself a copy of Charlie y la fábrica de chocolate – I’m pretty sure you can work out which Roald Dahl book that is…

Poetry anthologies can be dipped in to. Even with a “favourite poet” you’ll like some poems more than others. I don’t think we are meant to “get” every single poem, we are to find the ones which resonate with us. So, even if you’ve only read one or two poems by that particular poet, I’d still tick off the anthology if it turns up on List Challenges! A couple of my faves are quite long poems – The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Goblin Market, by Christina Rossetti. The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe, is pretty good too.

There’s no such thing as too many books! The most common problem amongst bookworms is having insufficient bookshelves! I definitely experience this problem, lol! I think it’s time I brought this entry to a close, as I think I have covered most issues! As long as it’s not spam, do feel free to comment on these blogs. I appreciate that a lot of people seem to enjoy them, some entries more than others, but if there’s anything you want to ask or say, please do! As I said, as long as no-one’s spamming, and people are asking relevant stuff, I don’t mind!

So, until I publish another long waffly post onto this blog, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books and poems mentioned in this blog entry…

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
  • Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  • A Farewell To Arms – Ernest Hemingway
  • A Farewell To Legs – Jeffrey Cohen
  • The Harry Potter series – J. K. Rowling
  • Esio Trot – Roald Dahl
  • The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
  • The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton
  • Girl With a Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier
  • Charlie y la Fábrica de Chocolate – Roald Dahl
  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner – Samuel Taylor Coleridge (poem)
  • Goblin Market – Christina Rossetti (poem)
  • The Raven – Edgar Allan Poe (poem)

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Adult Fiction, Books, Charity Shop Bargains, Childrens' Books, E-Books & Audiobooks, Foreign Languages, Handbag Books, Humour, Literary Issues, Rants, YA Books

One Word Titles

Books and nibbles March 2017

Good evening, fellow Bookworms!

Been to book club this evening, so If I Could Tell You Just One Thing, by Richard Reed, has been discussed, and we’ve gone from one extreme to another in terms of book title, as Moonstone, by Sjón, is our next book, and our next meeting is on 12th April. While I was at Waterstone’s, I also purchased Ink, by Alice Broadway, as I couldn’t resist the strikingly beautiful cover of this YA novel. Thus, this blog has a bit of a theme – one word titles. Well, if it’s a good enough policy for Pet Shop Boys album titles, then it’s good enough for a book blog theme!

Technically speaking, Moonstone bears the subtitle The Boy Who Never Was, which, I think, might actually be the title of the book in other editions, perhaps overseas in certain countries. Don’t get me started on that matter! There is a book I read some years ago for book club, one which I enjoyed, called The Other Hand, by Chris Cleave, but in the USA and New Zealand, this same book is known as Little Bee.Why do publishing houses do this?! It’s just bloody confusing! It’s actually a good job I’d read this book and knew both titles, because I was once in Waterstone’s in the Trafford Centre a year or so ago, and was able to help a fellow customer who said she was looking for Little Bee by letting her know that it’s known as The Other Hand over here! Is it really asking too much for publishers to have the same title for any given book the world over?! Stop confusing bookworms! Different editions having different covers is one thing, but different bloody NAMES?! Find a title you like and stick to it!

And, while we’re at it, this latest book club book is Moonstone, and is set in Iceland, so it’s not to be confused with The Moonstone, which is a much older, and chunkier, novel by Wilkie Collins. If I make that distinction here, it means both books are on List Challenges, on the Joanne’s Bookshelf Blogs – Books Mentioned 2017 list, and therefore people will know I mean two different novels! There shouldn’t be any of that “D’ya think she meant THE Moonstone?” type of confusion. There’s a volcano in this Icelandic one, so that should be of interest to me, plus the fact that I’ve been to Iceland, so I can picture it, as I could when I read the excellent Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent.

I was actually looking for a rather long-titled book in the YA section, but couldn’t find Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, and it was while I was meandering amongst the young adult novels that Ink caught my eye – well, it couldn’t really fail to with that beautiful cover! I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover if proverbs are anything to go by, but it can’t be helped sometimes! Some covers are just too eye-catching and/or gorgeous to resist!

I’ve also got my eyes on Diary of an Oxygen Thief, by Anonymous, for a future read. Has to be said the rather mad-looking snowman on the cover attracted me, lol, and it seemed amusing and fairly short, so it would be a good potential Handbag Book.

Anyway, back to short titles… there are a fair few books I have in on my notorious TBR list which have one word titles. There’s Fishbowl, by Bradley Somer, which was one of the ones mentioned when I put books to the vote to be my Wembley Book for the EFL Cup Final last month. My sister gave that one a vote because of the title! There’s also Dumplin’, by Julie Murphy, which is hanging around on my book piles wondering when I’m going to get around to reading it! I also have a YA trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater, all three books of which have one word titles – Shiver, Linger and Forever, so if we were having a one word title book binge, that would be a good trilogy to go for! I have three books by Kate Mosse, each with a one word title, although I think Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel are all stand alone novels.

Wonder, by R. J Palacio, and Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli, are another two YA books on the TBR pile, they were both in the rainbow tower I featured in a recent blog, and there’s Ghostwritten, by David Mitchell, which is on the notorious Half-Read Books list! Only thing is, last time I tried to progress with that one, I wasn’t really in the mood for it. Maybe I will be in the mood to progress with it some time soon, but it wasn’t doing anything for me the last time I picked it up. Even following it via audiobook seemed like a chore, it just wasn’t grabbing me, so it rejoined the Half Read Books list.

I’ve just looked on the Bass Amp Book Pile, but none of those books have one word titles, so that rules those out of our current theme. Just looking around Computer Corner, I see my Paulo Coelho books, and notice Brida, one I’ve yet to read, and one which would fit the bill on the one word title front. It also has an Irish setting, so would be rather apt given that it’s St Patrick’s Day on Friday. Down here, by my side, on a revolving shelf unit, I have Lolita, or “that book by Nabokov” as mentioned in the lyrics of “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” by The Police! I also have Nocturnes, by Kazuo Ishiguro, which is a book of short stories about music and nightfall. Should I want the original vampire novel, Dracula, by Bram Stoker, is close at hand, and for my volcano fix, Krakatoa, by Simon Winchester, is also readily available, and you know I like my non-fiction as much as my fiction!

Anyway, I shall see what at least one of my new books is like, as Moonstone will have to be added to the Ongoing Concerns for now, and I will be giving you an update on the others pretty soon, although none of the other OCs have one word titles, so it’s not really the time and place to do an update in this particular blog entry. Thus, I shall bring this blog to its conclusion and, until the next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • If I Could Tell You Just One Thing – Richard Reed
  • Moonstone – Sjón
  • Ink – Alice Broadway
  • The Other Hand – Chris Cleave
  • The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
  • Burial Rites – Hannah Kent
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  • Diary of an Oxygen Thief – Anonymous
  • Fishbowl – Bradley Somer
  • Dumplin’ – Julie Murphy
  • Shiver – Maggie Stiefvater
  • Linger – Maggie Stiefvater
  • Forever – Maggie Stiefvater
  • Labyrinth – Kate Mosse
  • Sepulchre – Kate Mosse
  • Citadel – Kate Mosse
  • Wonder – R. J. Palacio
  • Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli
  • Ghostwritten – David Mitchell
  • Brida – Paulo Coelho
  • Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  • Nocturnes – Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Dracula – Bram Stoker
  • Krakatoa – Simon Winchester

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, E-Books & Audiobooks, Half-Finished Books, List Challenges, Literary Issues, Music, Rants, The TBR Pile, Volcanoes, YA Books

Jaffa Cakes And A Good Book

zlatan-and-pogba-efl-cup-2017* Manchester United – EFL Cup Winners 2017 *

Good afternoon, fellow Bookworms!

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he is our Swedish hero… Oops, sorry! Still celebrating after yesterday’s trip to Wembley and our 3-2 victory over a very decent Southampton side. To be fair to the Saints, our lads were fannying about so much at the back, that you could hardly blame them for feeling encouraged to have a go, which they did, and they got it back to 2-2 after we’d gone into a 2-0 lead. Fortunately, just when it looked like extra time might be on the cards, we got our late winner and managed to hang on to the lead for the remaining few minutes plus stoppage time!

The other thing I am celebrating is how quickly we managed to get home despite supporting the winning side! Obviously, for those whose side has lost, they leave Wembley first and get back on their coaches and head home, but after we’d watched the lads lift the cup and do a bit of celebrating, we headed back to find our coach. Took a bit of locating, but we found it, and got back on board. Actually, we were fairly quick to set off, and it seemed we managed to get away from the industrial estate which surrounds Wembley Stadium in what must be world-record time, lol! Mum and I also managed to get out of the car-park quickly when we got back to Old Trafford, so we were home before half past midnight! As I said, a world record for getting home from Wembley after seeing United win!

But, anyway, you want to know about the reading matter, don’t you?! I did some reading going down to Wembley, and coming back to Old Trafford. Stuart Maconie‘s The Pie At Night was my book of choice for the journey down, accompanied by a Jaffa Cake or two. Or three… There’s nowt like a good book and some Jaffa Cakes when you’re on the way to a cup final! I was really enjoying Maconie’s book, and looking forward to continuing on the way home after the match…

However, I don’t know what the driver was up to, but during the journey, we couldn’t put the overhead reading lights on, so the coach was pretty dark! Not just tricky eating your food on a dark coach, but pretty much impossible to read a paperback or hardback! Therefore, I couldn’t even read I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic in celebration of our Swedish striker’s goals in the final!

This is where my Kindle came into its own. It is in a cover with a built-in light, so I was able to choose an e-book for the journey back to Old Trafford, and Andrew Hyslop‘s Premier League Years 1992/93 fit the bill nicely, as it was about footy! I must say it could really have done with some proof-reading, I noted quite a few typos and other errors, but it was a great trip down memory lane, back to that first Premier League season!

I had briefly toyed with the idea of reading either Dorothy Must Die, by Danielle Paige, or Ally Carter‘s I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You, the first of the Gallagher Girls books – I had started that one some time ago on my Kindle. However, the prospect of reliving our first ever Premier League title and reading about how we signed Eric Cantona for a bargain £1.2m in November 1992 was impossible to resist, so the footy won, as you suspected it always would!

I was at the start of December 1992 in the Hyslop e-book when we neared Old Trafford and I put my Kindle away, so I am 42% of the way through that book. I am 11% in to The Pie At Night, in case you were wondering. I feel as though I may as well get the Hyslop read – for me a quick read as I reminisce about the 1992-93 season and all the familiar names. The players, the managers, the transfer news… I have managed 9 books so far in 2017 on my Goodreads Challenge, and it would be great to have read ten within the first two months of this year! It would also be my second e-book on the list, having finished off Pear Shaped, by Adam Blain, right at the start of this calendar year to get the 2017 challenge up and running!

As I said, I’d turned my Kindle off, and put it away as we were nearly back at Old Trafford, but I had reached December 1992 in the book, and that would mean a look back at the first Manchester Derby I ever went to. 6th December 1992 at Old Trafford. Absolutely pissing down with rain, and I was in the Stretford End, which was being rebuilt at the time, so it didn’t have a roof at that stage of the season. Therefore, we were provided with pacamacs as we went through the turnstiles… As many people have said, we looked like we were wearing giant condoms, lol! Paul Ince and Mark Hughes scored for us in our 2-1 victory, with Niall Quinn getting a goal back for City, but we hung on for the 3 points. Eric Cantona came on for his United debut as a second half sub, replacing Bryan Robson. It would be the only derby he would play any part in without scoring at least one goal. Our neighbours would soon come to fear our Frenchman for a few seasons until they got relegated in 1996! (Bit of a drastic way to ensure he could no longer score against your team, though, lol!)

the-museum-of-you

Anyway, enough about that, and back to books, with a mystery book. Well, a bit of a mystery. No, it’s not a blind date with a book or anything, it’s not in brown paper, but it does have shrink-wrap around it. I bought it a while ago, probably some time last year, from Chapter One book shop and cafe on Lever Street in town. The book is The Museum of You, by Carys Bray. However, the blurb on the back of the book, as I have since realised, is about her previous novel, A Song For Issy Bradley, so I have no actual idea what this book is about! The only clue, therefore, is on the front…

This summer, Clover Quinn wants to find the missing pieces of her story.

So, that’s basically all we have to go off with this one! Unless we want to “cheat” and look it up on Goodreads or something… It’s a hardback, anyway, probably one for the Bass Amp Book Tower! I’ve opened it – removed the shrink wrap (that stuff is seriously annoying, isn’t it?!) and the book now rests on the Amp Tower for the time being as I head off to reminisce a bit more about 90s football and celebrate my club’s current team winning the League Cup, lol!

Until the next time I blog, which will probably be the February review, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • The Pie At Night – Stuart Maconie
  • I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  • The Premier League Years 1992/93 – Andrew Hyslop
  • Dorothy Must Die – Danielle Paige
  • I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You – Ally Carter
  • Pear Shaped – Adam Blain
  • The Museum of You – Carys Bray
  • A Song For Issy Bradley – Carys Bray

Leave a comment

Filed under Bass Amp Book Tower, Books, E-Books & Audiobooks, Football, Free Books, Goodreads, Handbag Books, Humour, Manc Stuff!, Non-Fiction, Travel

Up For The Cup!

coffee-in-arabic

Good afternoon, fellow Bookworms!

I found the above photo on Bored Panda and messaged it to my friend Liz. The picture is actually the word for coffee in Arabic and this guy takes Arabic words and turns them into images of their meanings. As my friend is very much a coffee-drinker, I knew she’d like that one! I was also telling her about a book I read some years ago now, The Devil’s Cup, by Stewart Lee Allen, which is about the discovery and history of coffee. I was still working at Manchester DBC when I read that book, so it’s a long time ago now – that office closed in 2009, so it’s 8 years ago at the very least!

miffy-the-artist

Sadly, we have to say goodbye, and Rest in Peace, to Dick Bruna. The author and illustrator of the Miffy books passed away on Thursday in Utrecht, aged 89. In the Netherlands, she’s known at Nijntje, a contraction of konijntje, meaning “little rabbit” in Dutch. My sister and I read a lot of Miffy books when we were little, probably including Miffy The Artist, as shown above, often borrowing them from the children’s section at Eccles Library. Miffy is hugely popular worldwide, I remember seeing a lot of Miffy books and other items when I went to Tokyo in 2005 and they have plenty of cartoon characters of their own, such as Hello Kitty, but they do tend to like anything “kawai” (cute), so it figures that they’d take to Miffy in Japan!

Hendrik Magdalenus (Dick) Bruna – 23rd August 1927 – 16th February 2017.

Before we get back to books, mention of cups, as in the title, brings me on to matters of a footballing nature, and there has been quite a result this afternoon in the 5th round of the FA Cup, as non-league Lincoln City scored a late winner to beat Premier League Burnley at Turf Moor and become the first non-league team in 103 years to reach the 6th round of the FA Cup – quarter final stage! Burnley are a decent side, especially at home. They’re 12th in the Premier League at the moment, so mid-table security and not in danger of relegation, and, as I said, are pretty decent at home, so it makes Lincoln’s achievement this lunchtime all the more impressive! Congratulations to the Imps! My lads play tomorrow, we’re away to Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

I am over half-way now, into the second half, as it were, with I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic, having read a bit more last night to celebrate the fact that he scored a hat-trick for us on Thursday night when we beat Saint Etienne 3-0 at Old Trafford in our Europa League tie. It’s the first knock-out round, and that was the first leg, so we have a very nice lead to take to the 2nd leg in France next week, with no away goals conceded. If we can get a goal over there, we can really put the tie to bed. St Etienne must be sick to death of Zlatan, lol! He’s now scored 17 goals against them – he was at Paris St-Germain, of course, before he joined United in the summer, and already had a pretty good record against St Etienne. I imagine there was a collective groan in their part of France when the draw was made and they were drawn against us – they thought they’d escaped Zlatan when he left the French league to come to England, but they were wrong, lol!

This season’s Europa League final will be held in Sweden, so it’s hardly surprising that Zlatan is on a mission to help us win this trophy! Also, it’s the one piece of European silverware United have not won yet. We’ve won the European Cup three times, and we won the old European Cup-Winners’ Cup back in 1991, but if we were to win the Europa League, the UEFA Cup as it used to be known for years, we would complete the set!

The two books I am returning to Sarah tomorrow are on the coffee table downstairs. As previously documented in several of my blogs, she lent me Faster Than Lightning, by Usain Bolt, and I Know This Much, by Gary Kemp. She has said she will lend me Not Dead Yet, by Phil Collins, so I am looking forward to that one!

Zlatan is very likely to be in the Handbag for the trip down to Wembley next Sunday, and at the moment, it is possible Tony Hawks might still be in the Handbag, as I approach the halfway point in Round Ireland With a Fridge, which is VERY funny! If I haven’t finished it off before 26th February, it’ll join Mr Ibrahimovic in the purple Kipling bag and will be read on the way to Manchester United v Southampton in the League Cup Final.

I shall also try to ensure that my Kindle is fully-charged ready for the journey down, and that my phone booster is also charged. I have loads of ebooks on the Kindle, including Premier League Years 1992/93, by Andrew Hyslop, about the inaugural season, but there’s plenty of non-football stuff on there. Got one on there called Dorothy Must Die, by Danielle Paige, which I got for free some time ago now! Apparently, it’s a twist on the whole Wizard of Oz thing, where the Wicked Witch is actually the good one, or something like that!

Some books on my Kindle are only samples, but others are the full books, including The Tea Planter’s Wife, by Dinah Jefferies. I do actually own a paperback copy of that, as well, but if it is on my e-reader, it is convenient for travel! I’ve got a right load of mad stuff on my Kindle! Yeah, I know, I have had it since the end of 2011 – if you want to read about that particular saga, check out my blog archives! I won my Kindle, so it was free, but it was a while before I actually received it and a lot of chasing up needed doing.

I have 297 items on my Kindle! There’s all sorts of mad crap on there! Mad crap in the literary sense, anyway, lol! As I said before, there’s samples of stuff, but there’s also plenty of entire books. Some of which are electronic versions of books I also own in paperback or hardback, but some are purely on my Kindle. There’s a right load of Dickens on there, probably because you can get a load of classics for free for e-reading devices! Also because of that anniversary five years ago, when I planned to read another of Dickens’ novels, but didn’t get around to it! Should I wish to, I’ve got a fair few to choose from if I want to read any electronically!

Blimey! I’ve got Finn Family Moomintroll on here! I have had that in paperback, along with a few other Moomin books, since I was a kid! There was an animated series on Children’s ITV back in the 80s, which I loved, so that’s what got me into the Moomins!

(When I say Children’s ITV, I don’t mean a separate channel like they have these days – I mean programmes broadcast during that time between coming home from school in the afternoon up until the early evening news at 5:45, so for around 2 hours or so, when there were kids’ programmes on telly, on both BBC1 and ITV, providing us with after-school entertainment!)

Well, I really need to stop waffling on and get this published, so that’s about all for now! Until the next time I decide to inflict my waffle upon the internet, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • The Devil’s Cup – Stewart Lee Allen
  • Miffy The Artist – Dick Bruna
  • I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  • Faster Than Lightning – Usain Bolt
  • I Know This Much: From Soho to Spandau – Gary Kemp
  • Not Dead Yet – Phil Collins
  • Round Ireland With a Fridge – Tony Hawks
  • Premier League Years 1992/93 – Andrew Hyslop
  • Dorothy Must Die – Danielle Paige
  • The Tea Planter’s Wife – Dinah Jefferies
  • Finn Family Moomintroll – Tove Jansson

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors, Autobiography/Biography, Books, Childrens' Books, E-Books & Audiobooks, Football, Free Books, Handbag Books, Music, My Bookworm History, Television, Travel, YA Books

101 Book Mentions

101-dalmatian-puppies

101 dogs for 101 blogs!

Good evening, fellow Bookworms!

Last night, when I clicked to publish my blog, I received a notification shortly afterwards from WordPress, that I had published 100 blogs on Joanne’s Bookshelf! Wow! I knew I’d published a lot of book blogs, but some time ago, they seemed to stop letting me know blog by blog, so I lost count, although I knew I’d written a lot of these things! Anyway, last night, I reached my century, so this is my 101st blog, hence a photo from the film version of The Hundred and One Dalmatians! Well, it had to be done, lol!

Over the previous hundred book blogs, there have been many more than 101 books mentioned, lol! In fact, when I came to list them on List Challenges, my list came to 500 books! Would have been more if I’d listed every single Discworld book, I know, but I did list a few individually, and there’s one entry to represent the series. It’s just that the late great Sir Terry Pratchett wrote so many that it’d take ages to list! With some of the other fantasy series, there are not quite so many books. The Lord of the Rings is a trilogy, both Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia comprise of seven books each, and A Song of Ice and Fire has five books at present, and there are two more to come, I believe, as George R. R. Martin has not yet finished writing the series.

dalmatian-family

In one hundred blogs, we’ve covered one hell of a lot of issues! Some literary, some otherwise. Travel, music, sports, sports books, food, duplicate books, Young Adult novels and why they’re not just for teens, how much I hate book snobs, the content of books being more important than the authors’ appearances, tributes to poets, musicians and authors who’d passed away, especially last year when the Grim Reaper was overdoing it on the bumping-off front! I still think Phil Collins was taking a massive risk calling his autobiography Not Dead Yet, lol, given the number of celebrities lost in 2016! Looking forward to reading that book, though, when Sarah lends it to me.

We’ve even had cross-stitched bookmarks, Handbag Books, the chunkiness of historical fiction novels, the concept of the Book Hangover and bouts of Reader’s Block, the occasional rant, and of course a few mentions of the Junior Bookworm, my niece Charlotte. She now has a baby brother, of course, my nephew, Reuben, who was born in October, and she is clearly passing on her love of reading to the new arrival!

charlotte-reads-to-reuben

Charlotte reading to Reuben.

Looks like my nephew is enjoying having Eva and the New Owl read to him! It’s a book from the Owl Diaries series, by Rebecca Elliott, aimed at newly-independent readers such as my niece. I’m sure she still likes having books read to her, but she’s now very good at reading them on her own, and, as we can see, reading them to her baby brother!

You might be interested to know that my piles of books were still intact this evening when I returned home from Old Trafford after watching Manchester United beat Watford 2-0 in the Premier League, so neither the Juan Mata goal, nor the Anthony Martial goal, caused my books to topple over as they did last weekend when Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored our opener away to Leicester City! Must have just been a one-off! Let’s hope so! I want my side scoring lots of goals, but I don’t want my books falling over! As I reach 100 blogs, United reach 2,000 Premier League points, which they achieved this afternoon with the three points gained in our 2-0 win. Indeed, our next league victory will be our 600th in the Premier League, another milestone we’ll be the first club to achieve! However, this can’t happen until March, as we now have Europa League and FA Cup ties to contest, plus the League Cup Final against Southampton, before we have another Premier League fixture, which will be a home game against Bournemouth.

With Premier League Years 1992/93 downloaded onto my Kindle, I have at least one suitably United-related read amongst my ebooks for my trip to Wembley on 26th February. That particular date is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s birthday, too, so more reason to hope we win the cup – it would be appropriate to do so on a Legend’s birthday. Ole will be 44, he’s a couple of months older than me. He’s one of the main reasons why Norway is on my to-do list as far as travel is concerned, although I want to see more of Scandinavia anyway!

I have been to Denmark, a very long time ago now, way back in 1991 when I was 18, but we didn’t go to Copenhagen, so I have yet to visit the capital city. I have been to and performed at Legoland though! The original Legoland in Billund. The reason I was in Denmark in 1991 was because I was playing in the City of Salford Youth Concert Band, and every two years the band went abroad and gave a few concerts as well as having a bit of a holiday.Denmark was my first tour with the band, I also went to the Netherlands, France and Spain as part of the CSYCB. I was actually helping the band out by playing baritone sax at the time we went to Denmark, although my main instrument back then was the clarinet, “main instrument” meaning that I had my own, a pressie for my 16th birthday in 1989 just before I sat my GCSEs and left high school. The baritone sax was the music centre’s instrument, as was the bass clarinet I played a few years later in the band. These days, I’m in the Flixton Community Brass Band, in which I play tenor horn.

Anyway, I was on about Scandinavia, wasn’t I?! While Denmark was a long time ago, when I had just become an adult, I have had a more recent Scandinavian visit, when Mum and I went to Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2010. I totally recommend Iceland, especially as it’s an island full of bookworms! Icelandic people are major book lovers, they even have the “Christmas Book Flood” where they all buy each other new books, which they give each other on Christmas Eve, unwrap them, and then spend that night happily reading their new books! What a brilliant way to spend Christmas! I went there before I started writing these book blogs, which commenced later that year, but you won’t be surprised to learn I came home from Reykjavik with a few books, including The Sagas of Icelanders – that one kinda had to be purchased, really! I think it’s in the Book Chest in the garage. It’s a big, chunky book, anyway, as you might expect! Obviously, they were written by various Icelandic people, but the book I own has been put together by Jane Smiley. It’s not ALL the sagas, that would require an even chunkier book, I’m sure, but it’s a substantial introduction to Icelandic history, culture and folklore, and I hope to get around to reading it some time!

Well, we’ve started off with 101 dalmations to mark our 101st book blog, and we have ended up with mention of the bookworms of Iceland! You never know what’s going to turn up in this blog… mainly because I don’t know, either, lol! I just type this stuff as I go along, and sometimes one thing leads to another! Anyway, that’s about it for now, so until next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • The Hundred and One Dalmatians – Dodie Smith
  • The Discworld Series – Sir Terry Pratchett
  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Harry Potter Series – J. K. Rowling
  • The Chronicles of Narnia – C. S. Lewis
  • A Song of Ice and Fire (series) – George R. R. Martin
  • Not Dead Yet – Phil Collins
  • The Owl Diaries: Eva and the New Owl – Rebecca Elliott
  • Premier League Years 1992/93 – Andrew Hyslop
  • The Sagas of Icelanders – Various (prefaced by Jane Smiley)

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors, Books, Cross-Stitch, Duplicate Books List, E-Books & Audiobooks, Fantasy Fiction, Football, Handbag Books, Historical Fiction, Humour, Junior Bookworms, Literary Issues, Music, My Bookworm History, Non-Fiction, Rants, Reader's Block, School, College & Uni Reading, Sports, Television, Travel

Where I’m Reading From…

book-reader-1

Good evening, fellow Bookworms, and here is the news…

I finished reading I Know This Much, Gary Kemp‘s autobiography, this evening, so I will be able to return both that book and Faster Than Lightning, by Usain Bolt, to my friend Sarah when she comes here next Sunday for the Pet Shop Boys gig at the Arena in town. Absolutely loved both books, so ta very much, Sarah, and I’m looking forward to reading Not Dead Yet, by Phil Collins!

(As I mentioned in a recent blog, I have seen that one a few times on display at Waterstone’s and really fancied it, so I was very excited when she said she’d lend me that one next!)

Finishing Kemp’s book means I now have 8 books on my Goodreads Challenge for 2017. 22 to go to my initial total of 30. Doing alright so far, but then again I could say the same about last year’s challenge until I read A Little Life, lol! It all went a bit Pete Tong after that! Certainly as far as fiction was concerned, anyway, even if I did get a few items of non-fiction read after I’d finished Hanya Yanagihara‘s epic novel!

I’ve started dipping in to If I Could Tell You Just One Thing, compiled by Richard Reed, and it is the sort of book to dip in and out of, as it’s just full of bits of advice from countless people, some of whom I’ve certainly heard about, although there are a few I don’t have a clue about! OK, I’m hardly far into it, but I do like Stephen Fry’s advice about ignoring all life-coach advice as it’s all snake oil without exception! I’ve often felt that way myself. Self-help books might help a lot of other people, but I find them to be a crock of ableist shite! I am certain that the writers of those books ASSume that all their readers are 100% perfectly fit and able-bodied, because they do NOT take any sort of disability into account, either visible or invisible!

I think someone with a hidden condition would have to write something, then perhaps many of us could relate to the experience, especially if the writer expresses how frustrating and tiresome the whole experience is! If he or she wrote about how pissed-off they were with the over-high expectations others have of you because you look “normal”, and the accusations they hurl at you – accusations of making things up, not trying hard enough, not wanting to do whatever it is they were suggesting – and the way they make you feel as though it might be a good idea to get a copy of your medical records and highlight the parts which mention your disability and the effects it has on you and giving out copies to the disbelieving arseholes to shut them up! You shouldn’t have to feel like you need to present proof, but what else can you do when arseholes won’t believe you? Sick to death of not being believed! Especially about this matter.

I am not remotely sorry for this rant. I am beyond pissed-off with this sort of crap! Not my bloody fault my stupid body considers a lot of physical activities to be “unreasonable requests” is it?! Do you think I chose to be like this? To have a gland that doesn’t bloody work? I would LOVE to be able to do the same stuff as many other people, but no matter how hard I tried, and I DID bloody try throughout my childhood, MY STUPID BODY DID NOT WANT TO KNOW! Got that?! So the likes of Helen Adams, and all the other thoughtless, insensitive, tactless arseholes I’ve had to put up with in my life, can take their accusations and they can shove them up their f***in’ arses. Sideways!

Perhaps they should keep their gobs shut and their thoughts to themselves from now on? Before I end this rant, just a quick thought for these idiots to ponder on… the thyroid gland can stop working at any time in a person’s life, so there’s always the possibility that others could end up with at least a taste of some of the crap I’ve had to put up with in my life just because one tiny gland in my neck has never seen fit to work since I was a baby…

* ends rant and returns to books *

List Challenges have done it again, damn them! I was looking at someone’s list and checking books off, and I came across one called Don’t Know Much About History, which is a non-fiction book about the history of the USA by Kenneth C Davis, and I started singing “Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke!

Don’t know much about history, don’t know much biology…

Don’t know much about a science book, don’t know much about the French I took…

But I do know that I love you, and I know that if you love me too

What a wonderful world this would be!

Stop it, List Challenges, you keep giving me book titles which remind me of songs! You’ll regret this, lol! I’ve already had “True” by Spandau Ballet on my brain for the past few weeks. Anyway, I do know a fair bit about history, as half my degree was in the subject, the other half was in literature as I’ve probably mentioned in previous blogs, and I know some of the French I took, as I did study it to A Level! OK, I went right off French at A Level, having loved it when I was doing my GCSEs, but I did appreciate French once again in November 1992 when United signed a certain bushy-eyebrowed French centre-forward from Leeds for a bargain £1.2m! Ooh aah…

I wasn’t that fussed about the biology, or any science, really, though! Well, I liked certain aspects of it, like making lightbulbs light up in physics, but I was only ever average at science subjects and didn’t really want to have to take any for my exams, didn’t see the point as I wasn’t going to use physics, chemistry or biology after I’d left school. Dad was the scientist in our family, and worked for a chemical firm until his retirement in 2010.

You may recall, a blog entry or two ago, the mention of a book promoted on Facebook by the Premier League Years page – well, the other day, they were promoting it again as the Kindle version was on offer for free! Yep! Premier League Years 1992/93: The Story of the Inaugural Premier League Season, by Andrew Hyslop, was available for absolutely nowt! So, you won’t be surprised to learn that I have downloaded it on my Kindle, and that it is in serious consideration for being read on my way to Wembley when I go to the League Cup Final later this month!

The ongoing concerns are still I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic, An Equal Music, and The Saffron Trail, but now I’ve finished Kemp’s book, my thoughts turn to either starting a new book or returning to another partially-read one. There are always several books on the go, which dates back to my student days when this was necessary for my literature modules. Pretty sure that, before I went to uni, I read one book at a time, but that has not happened since the early 90s, lol! Probably 1991, before I started university that autumn! If I read anything else at the same time as books, it would probably only have been magazines back then, most likely Smash Hits during my teens, or copies of Literally, the regular publication of the Pet Shop Boys’ fan club, which was sent out 3 times a year, I think.

After a bit of thought on the title front, I’ve settled for Where I’m Reading From for the title of today’s blog, but it is also a book by Tim Parks, which is hanging around somewhere in this room, and I could always start that one. I do like books about books, as you may have noticed, lol! He also wrote the excellent A Season With Verona, which I read some years ago now and loved. Then again, it was about football, and also a travel book about Italy at the same time, so that’s probably why I loved it so much!

Well, I shall go and have a look at the Tim Parks book, and perhaps a few other options, and I shall finish this for now. Until next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this book blog…

  • I Know This Much – Gary Kemp
  • Faster Than Lightning – Usain Bolt
  • Not Dead Yet – Phil Collins
  • A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
  • If I Could Tell You Just One Thing – Richard Reed
  • Don’t Know Much About History – Kenneth C. Davis
  • Premier League Years 1992/93 – Andrew Hyslop
  • I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  • An Equal Music – Vikram Seth
  • The Saffron Trail – Rosanna Ley
  • Where I’m Reading From – Tim Parks
  • A Season With Verona – Tim Parks

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors, Autobiography/Biography, Books, E-Books & Audiobooks, Football, Foreign Languages, Goodreads, List Challenges, Music, Rants