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Books, Timbits and the Winter Olympics

War of the Worlds finished Feb 2018

Good evening, fellow Bookworms!

The Martians were finished off in the early hours, lol! The War of the Worlds became my 6th finished book so far this year, my second by H. G. Wells, and my second work of science fiction this year. Therefore, so far, I have finished 1 general fiction novel, 1 autobiography, two science fiction novels, a children’s book and a crime novel. Not bad considering we’re only in early February!

I think it makes for timely reading, and perhaps more should read it. There is a lesson in how the Martians were killed off. These creatures, on their own planet, had eradicated all disease, but that became their downfall when they came to Earth. They couldn’t resist our germs, our bacteria saw them off! They had come to Earth, thinking they were great, zapping everything to bits with their Heat Ray, killing the humans and then consuming their blood… but maybe some of those humans had the lurgy, like the bugs which have been going around here of late, so no wonder the Martians died!

It all made me think of the time when I was a kid, back in the 70s and 80s. The days before everything was over-sterilised and people got their knickers in a knot about kids putting soil-covered fingers in their mouths, rushing over with wipes… Back in the day, our parents warned us about the plant life we shouldn’t eat, the stuff which WOULD make us very sick, or even kill us, if we did put that in our mouths, but they didn’t bother about the harmless stuff, even if it didn’t taste all that great… They knew we would perhaps try it once or twice, then realise for ourselves that it wasn’t worth bothering with in terms of flavour! However, it WAS worth doing, as it turned out, as I hardly know anyone of my age or older who has a food intolerance! I know all of three people! One who’s allergic to fish, one pork, and the other allergic to onions, but that’s it. Three people. Nowadays, there seems to be a huge issue with allergies, be it nuts, dairy, or whatever! I think part of this is because people fuss too much about kids eating a tidgy bit of soil or mud!

STOP FUSSING! LET THEM EAT SOIL!

Seriously, if it means they can eat a huge variety of food without being ill, and you can go out for meals without having to badger the restaurant manager for ingredients lists, let your kids stick their fingers in the soil and try it! They’ll probably only do it the once, anyway, find that it doesn’t taste particularly good, and not bother again, but that one taste might just help their body cope that bit better and not reject certain foods! Just a bit of advice from a 70s baby!

Right, anyway, moving on from Martians being killed off by bacteria, I need another Handbag Book! I’m having one of those “What the hell should I read next?” moments! It won’t be a hardback, that’s for certain, I’ve got two of those on the go as it is, as I am still reading Russian Winters, by Andrei Kanchelskis, and have now made a start on our latest book club book, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman. I do have Hawksmoor, which I tend to read in chunks, a chapter at a time, lol, so I need something that might prove a quicker read, particularly bearing in mind that I like to have a bit of a read at work when I’m on my lunch. Followers of mine on Instagram will know that I often sit in our deli at work, having something to eat and having a good read! There are quite a few Bookstagram posts from my lunchtime reading sessions!

Rainbow Book Tower Feb 2018

I could, of course, start on my Rainbow Tower of Books! This photo shows the current state of the tower, from the pink-spined (indeed pink-covered) Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli, at the top, to the “pot of gold” at the bottom, the gold spine belonging to The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick deWitt. That one would actually be resuming a book I’d made a start on a few years ago, but I was in the middle of a book slump at the time and even though I liked it, it wasn’t enough to override my reading malaise. That’s not to say it wouldn’t be enough now, though. If I hadn’t thought I would ever finish it, I’d have given it away to a charity shop some time ago. It has a great cover, too! Really clever design! I know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but let’s face it, some covers are just bloody brilliant, aren’t they?! One of the other brilliant covers in recent years is that of Look Who’s Back, by Timur Vermes, which I read and loved a couple of years ago!

By the way, this is my 201st book blog! After I published that last one about Andrei and the Martians, Word Press sent me a notification to tell me it was my 200th book blog! Many thanks to all of you who follow and read my blogs!

Some of those books on the tower are a little chunky, but I don’t think any are particularly excessive size-wise! No major chunky monkeys, anyway. Nothing along the lines of A Little Life, let alone War and Peace, so there should be room in my handbag if I do decide to read my way through the rainbow tower of books, or maybe one or two of them could just stay at home if they were on the chunky side. Seems a decent variety on that tower, too. Got a couple of biographies, some general fiction, some young adult fiction and some science fiction or fantasy on there.

Perhaps I should read a book about books? For instance, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, by Katarina Bivald, or How To Find Love In a Book Shop, by Veronica Henry. Or I could read some more non-fiction, and choose Republic or Death! Travels In Search of National Anthems, by Alex Marshall. Or one of two books I can see close by with doughnuts on the covers! One of them is called Doughnut, and is by Tom Holt, the other is This Book Will Save Your Life, by A. M. Homes. Mention of doughnuts is making me think of Timmie’s! Mmmm…. So glad we’ve got Tim Horton’s over here now! I discovered the joy of Timmie’s when I was in Canada in 2009, and wanted them over here ever since – branches opened around here towards the end of 2017, the one in Salford, on Bury New Road, opening a week before Christmas. Mmmm…. Timbits! ­čÖé

Well, I shall have a think and get back to you all with my decision. Only kidding! I really need a mug of hot Vimto and to settle down for some late night viewing – live coverage from PyeongChang of people doing mad stuff on snow and ice, otherwise known as the Winter Olympics, lol! I would just fall on my arse! I’ve never had the greatest of balance in the bloody first place, so slippy surfaces are not really my cup of tea, but I admire those who can do tricky stuff on them! Mind you, even some of them end up going arse over tit in a spectacular manner – this is what happens when it all goes Pete Tong in winter sports! Some of the falls in the men’s slopestyle snowboarding last night, for instance…

Until the next time, take care and Happy Reading! I might have chosen another Handbag Book by then!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in tonight’s blog entry…

  • The War of the Worlds – H. G. Wells
  • Russian Winters – Andrei Kanchelskis
  • Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman
  • Hawksmoor – Peter Ackroyd
  • Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli
  • The Sisters Brothers – Patrick deWitt
  • Look Who’s Back – Timur Vermes
  • A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
  • War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  • The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend – Katarina Bivald
  • How To Find Love In a Book Shop – Veronica Henry
  • Republic or Death! Travels In Search of National Anthems – Alex Marshall
  • Doughnut – Tom Holt
  • This Book Will Save Your Life – A. M. Homes
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Filed under Authors, Autobiography/Biography, Books, Books About Books, Bookstagram, Chunky Monkeys, Facebook & Other Social Media, Food & Drink, Goodreads, Handbag Books, Humour, List Challenges, Non-Fiction, Olympic Games, Science Fiction, Sports

Andrei Kanchelskis vs the Martians…

Me and the Manc Bee - Central Library Feb 2018

Manchester will be buzzin’ this summer! Look out for giant bees!

Hello again, fellow Bookworms!

Welcome back to the crazy world of my book blogs! I had considered “Andrei and the Martians” as the title, but that sounds like a band name, really, doesn’t it? Like Adam and the Ants, or Florence and the Machine! Prior to book club this evening, Andrei was ahead in the early hours due to getting a fair bit of Russian Winters read yesterday, but I think the Martians overtook him again when I had a read of The War of the Worlds at lunchtime while I was at work! Thing is, the Martians would actually have had a hard job catching Andrei if it was the younger version of him – back in his footballing days he was bloody fast! He was at United from 1991 to 1995 and tied opposition defenders in knots! After we beat Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup semi-final replay at Maine Road in April 1994, the Oldham back four must have had knotted blood!

It was just Stephanie and I at book club again. Some of us have to keep it going! We both enjoyed The Red House Mystery, by A. A. Milne and I had brought a pile of books to the table for whoever else turned up to have a look at. As it turned out, it was just Steph. I’d arrived early and wandered round Waterstone’s looking for anything which took my fancy and which might interest any others. Steph saw Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman, and said she fancied reading that. I did too, I already had the hardback edition at home – got it half price in the January sales at W H Smith’s last month, lol, so we decided on that one and set the next date for 7th March, which is 4 weeks’ time.

book purchases 7th Feb 2018

As I said, I already had our new book club book, but the books either side of it were bought tonight at Waterstone’s and I also picked up a free bookmark with Moomins on it! Yay! Perhaps something else I should re-read, having re-read Mrs Pepperpot in the Magic Wood a few weeks ago, maybe Finn Family Moomintroll, by Tove Jansson, should be read again, lol! Another book I got when I was in the juniors at primary school, although possibly a bit older than when I read the Mrs Pepperpot book. The Moomins were being shown on Children’s ITV after school at the time, back in the 80s when I was a kid, and I loved it, so when Finn Family Moomintroll ended up as a choice in the book club brochure, I was able to read the stories the animated series was based on. I actually have five Moomin books, so four others besides the one I’ve just mentioned. I got them all when I was a kid, so I’ve had them since I was about 10 or so!

Anyway, getting back to the books I bought tonight, having been distracted by the Moomins, lol, I have had my eye on the Becky Chambers book for a while. I already have The Long Way To a Small Angry Planet, and I am under the impression that A Closed and Common Orbit is the sequel, although it could be a stand-alone. The other purchase tonight was The Lathe of Heaven, by Ursula K. Le Guin. I’ve used a lathe, a couple of years ago now, when I was doing wood turning at Start in Salford. Here we go, I’ll find photos for you…

lathe and wood 2016

This is a lathe, for those who don’t know – That round-looking chunk of wood would become a bowl eventually…

Woodwork and wood-turning 2016

That bowl in dark brown wood was what was on the lathe in the previous photo! The barrel tub, trees and the snowman were also made on the lathe.

So, you get science fiction books and woodwork photos, lol! I did warn you that you might see some seriously weird and random stuff on this blog! Mind you, over 70 of you are following the blog these days, so there must be a market for waffly random blogs after all!

As for crafting, I might not have done anything with wood since early 2016, but I am still making cross-stitched bookmarks on occasions, and there are a couple on the go at the moment, including the Penguin one, which just needs finishing touches, really – a bit of backstitching and perhaps a tassle of some sort. I hope to have at least that one finished soon and then I will have a bookmark to show you for the first time in a while. I think the last one was possibly the Manchester bees bookmark, although I also stitched the League Cup Winning Years one, and a few other patterned ones with 2017 on them. There will be a patterned one with 2018 on it fairly soon. Bookmarks thus bring us neatly back to books again.

Prior to book club, I had been trying to get three books read as much as I could. As you may recall, I had finished The Red House Mystery with just over a week to spare before book club, so I was focusing on Russian Winters, by Andrei Kanchelskis, The War of the Worlds, by H. G. Wells, and Hawksmoor, by Peter Ackroyd. The latter of those, Hawksmoor, has reached the 39% stage, so we are over a third of the way through it, but as I had suspected, the main battle has been between the other two books, and both of those are over halfway now, with Russian Winters at 53% and The War of the Worlds just ahead on 56% – I am pretty chuffed with that. Two books over the halfway mark. Hawksmoor might take a bit of a back seat now, as I start on Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, my new book club book, but I am still aiming to get Andrei and the Martians finished off this month! I think that is doable!

If you cast your minds back to last month’s blogs and the mention of books for Holocaust remembrance day in late January, I mentioned a book called The Librarian of Auschwitz, by Antonio Iturbe. I made some enquiries about this at Waterstone’s, but it was unavailable. However, I did manage to get it on my Kindle, so I do have it as an ebook, and therefore it is a possibility for a match day book on my way home from Old Trafford! I also looked on my Kindle for another book which I had tried to find last year, but couldn’t manage to find, that being The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler, but for some odd reason, the only ebook version I could find was in German! Well, OK, I can read SOME German, but I am not about to go downloading an ebook in the language! I want the book in English, at least first of all!

Sometimes, you just have to go online, as I did when I bought Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, by Jordan Sonnenblick! I prefer browsing in actual bookshops, but there are times when, like Bono, you still haven’t found what you’re looking for! I was also looking for Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan, a week or so ago, as I had seen it on List Challenges lists and on book-related items on Facebook, and couldn’t find that one while browsing, so I may have to look online for that. Drives me nuts when a book is only available somewhere else! Or when you prefer another country’s cover to that of your own country’s edition of a certain book, but don’t start me on that – it was a big complaint of mine the other year, lol!

That actually takes the list of different books mentioned this year up to 100 already! We’re only in early February, and we are in three figures! On that note, I think we’d better call it a day and get this published, so I can have a read, lol! Until next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • Russian Winters – Andrei Kanchelskis
  • The War of the Worlds – H. G. Wells
  • The Red House Mystery – A. A. Milne
  • Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman
  • Mrs Pepperpot in the Magic Wood – Alf Pr├Şysen
  • Finn Family Moomintroll – Tove Jansson
  • The Long Way To a Small Angry Planet – Becky Chambers
  • A Closed and Common Orbit – Becky Chambers
  • The Lathe of Heaven – Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Hawksmoor – Peter Ackroyd
  • The Librarian of Auschwitz – Antonio Iturbe
  • The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things – Carolyn Mackler
  • Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie – Jordan Sonnenblick
  • Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan

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Filed under Authors, Autobiography/Biography, Books, Childrens' Books, Cross-Stitch, E-Books & Audiobooks, Facebook & Other Social Media, Fantasy Fiction, Football, Foreign Languages, Handbag Books, List Challenges, Manc Stuff!, Music, My Bookworm History, Ongoing Concerns, Science Fiction, Sports, Television, The TBR Pile, YA Books

The Mutt’s Nuts, Winter Sports and Snake Day…

Penguin orange book spines

Hello again, fellow Bookworms!

We start with some good news, although it does mean asking work if I can have that half day off back again! As you recall, we ended January hearing the sad news that Paul Young’s wife had passed away after a battle with cancer. Understandably, at that time, Paul put his tour on hold and postponed his February gigs, including the one I was due to see, two weeks from now, at the Preston Guild Hall, on 15th February.

However, thanks to my friend Sarah, who shared the Facebook post from the Guild Hall, I was on the bus home from work this evening when I noticed the news that the gig is now back on, and on the original date. So, I WILL be going to see Paul Young in two weeks’ time, and thus I will be returning her copy of Not Dead Yet, by Phil Collins, on that day as well, as originally planned!

The less said about the footy last night, the better, except to say that the word “shite” immediately springs to mind. That is, of course, a technical term, as you probably know by now, lol!

Anyway, the reason that “the mutt’s nuts” is part of the title of this blog should become clear soon. The day after I go to see Paul Young, thus Friday 16th February, is Chinese New Year, and we will be letting in the Year of the Dog this year! Woof! Therefore, so as not to be barking up the wrong tree, I thought we might have a canine-themed book blog to celebrate! This is advanced warning of the Dog Blog, so to speak! Book recommendations on the dog theme are most welcome! I do have a couple of books in mind to mention, one which I read a few years ago, and loved, and one which is on my infamous TBR pile along with countless others, but if any of you, my followers, wish to recommend books featuring significant four-legged furry friends of the canine variety, it would be much appreciated!

The Winter Olympics are coming up even sooner, actually – Friday 9th February marks the opening ceremony of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, so perhaps, if we can think of enough books, we could do a blog on the theme of snow and ice, and perhaps winter sports if we find sufficient reading matter, fiction or non-fiction. I wonder if “Cool Runnings” is going to be on telly again?! Actually, this year is 30 years since that Winter Olympics, in Calgary, Canada, which inspired the film! It was at the 1988 Winter Games that the Jamaican bobsleigh team made their legendary debut, although there was some artistic licence in the film at times. Love that film! The late great John Candy was brilliant as the team’s coach.

It was also the same Olympics where Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards competed for Great Britain in the ski jumping! No-one else from the UK has ever attempted it since, so Eddie still holds the national record for the sport. He may not have flown very far compared to the other jumpers, but he didn’t fall on his arse or anything. He landed well. He just didn’t cover much distance, really. But until anybugger else is brave enough to try, people should really stop being so harsh about his efforts in 1988! Yes, he was daft, lol, and the “eagle” didn’t fly very far, but he was still pretty damn brave!

Perhaps we should talk about books now? Might be a good idea, lol, as we’ve only mentioned Not Dead Yet so far. I’ve mentioned rather a lot during the course of January, and 73 different books ended up on the List Challenges list! Not all blogs mention the same amount of books, though. Sometimes lists can be short, they’re not all long lists at the end of my blogs, and there have been times when only two or three books have been mentioned. I am deliberately avoiding mention of dog-related books as I want to save those for the Chinese New Year special, so maybe this particular entry might not mention many books. Please don’t be too disappointed!

Well, good progress has been made this lunchtime with The War of the Worlds, and although I’ve read a bit further on since, I’ve not yet calculated the updated percentage. It was at 20% by the time I’d finished my lunch and returned to the office for the afternoon, though, so if I can get it to the 25% stage or better this evening, I will be very chuffed. Russian Winters is currently at 25%, but I need to get on with Hawksmoor, really, as that’s been stuck on 10% for a week or so and I want to get that up to at least 20-30% – the science-fiction and autobiography do seem quicker reads. Not that Hawksmoor isn’t worth it, but I’m finding I take more time over it.

I aim to get all three up to a pretty good percentage before my book club meeting, when another book will have to be started! I aim to finish at least a couple this month – I’d like Russian Winters and The War of the Worlds added to my Goodreads Challenge in February. Possibly others, but certainly those two. There may also be some books resumed, but we shall see. I did talk about putting Neither Here Nor There, by Bill Bryson, back on the list, and that one was at 50% when it came to a bit of a halt last year.

Apparently, it’s National Serpent Day today! You learn something new every day! I guess any of you who have been sorted into Slytherin on Pottermore might wish to celebrate! Perhaps I should have worn the Slytherin socks from my set of Hogwarts house socks, instead of the Gryffindor ones? I would if I’d known, lol! I am a Ravenclaw, though, as that’s what the Sorting Hat determined for me on Pottermore! Any of the Harry Potter series would probably do if we’re mentioning snakes, and I shall list the whole series of 7 on List Challenges now, but the first two are probably the most serpent-related books, as Harry speaks to the snake at the zoo in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and then there’s the Basilisk in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets!

Need to go to town tomorrow after work – that time again to get my bus and tram pass loaded up for another month, so I shall be heading to Fopp after I’ve sorted the public transport bit out. Fopp, in town, is across from the blood donor centre (which reminds me that I need to book an appointment to see the vampires pretty soon – I’m overdue, really, but with all that lurgy, I’ve had to wait until I am well again) and is open until 6:30 so I can make it from the GMPTE travel shop in Piccadilly Gardens over to Fopp and see what books they have on offer… I was going to look at their science-fiction ones as they have quite a selection of those, and I seem to be in the mood to attempt that genre of late, what with the H.G. Wells novels… I was thinking they might have some of Ursula K Le Guin‘s books in the SF Masterworks range, perhaps The Left Hand of Darkness. We shall see…

I have some Isaac Asimov books here by Computer Corner, actually, including I, Robot, but I am not sure where my Philip K. Dick has got to – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? had been around here, too, but doesn’t seem to be at the moment. Perhaps I put it in the book chest last year when I swapped some books around, or it could simply be elsewhere in my room. Anyway, that’s probably it for now, so until next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • Not Dead Yet – Phil Collins
  • The War of the Worlds – H. G. Wells
  • Russian Winters – Andrei Kanchelskis
  • Hawksmoor – Peter Ackroyd
  • Neither Here Nor There – Bill Bryson
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets –┬áJ. K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban –┬áJ. K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire –┬áJ. K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix –┬áJ. K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince –┬áJ. K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows –┬áJ. K. Rowling
  • The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula K. Le Guin
  • I, Robot – Isaac Asimov
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick

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A Russian Birthday Boy and a New Number 7…

Andrei Kanchelskis book Jan 2018

Good evening, fellow Bookworms!

You’ll be pleased to learn that the Lurgy is on its way out! At long bloody last, eh?! The voice isn’t quite back to normal yet, and there are still occasional coughs, but it’s nowhere near as bad as it has been. So, I am at Computer Corner without coughing my head off, lol, and wishing our former winger, Andrei Kanchelskis, a very happy 49th birthday! This is why I have decided I am going to make a start on Russian Winters, his autobiography, and add it to the Ongoing Concerns, as I’m pretty much starting that back up again.

I just hope to keep it manageable this year. It kind of went to pot last year, didn’t it?! Books just weren’t being read, and it defeated the object of them being ongoing concerns if some of them weren’t exactly enjoying any ongoing progress! Anyway, Comrade Kanchelskis, birthday boy today, is being added to the current list. Pretty sure I still have his original autobiography, Kanchelskis, translated by George Scanlan, his interpreter at Manchester United, which was published in the early to mid 90s when Andrei was still at Old Trafford. In fact, not only am I certain I have this book, I am pretty sure I got it signed by Mr Kanchelskis, either at a book signing or at The Cliff. I think there was a book signing for it, so it was probably at one of the book shops in town.

I did do a book blog special on footballers’ autobiographies some┬á years ago, actually. I think it was when I’d just met Paul Scholes, who was signing copies of his book, My Story, at Selfridges in the Trafford Centre. Scholesy was quite used to getting booked on the pitch, lol, but on this occasion, his name was going in a lot of books without a yellow card being shown! But, when I did my blog, I issued a few red cards to some publishers for a few glaring errors which should not have got past the proof-readers! I think it was Heading For Victory, by Steve Bruce, which had a few mistakes in it and I felt the proof-reader was guilty of persistent fouling! Even Brucey himself, who went in where angels feared to tread during his playing days, would not have been as clumsy as some of the editing had been in his book!

This is turning into something of a Footballers’ Books Blog, isn’t it?! I’ve read plenty of them, so it’s a genre of book I am well-qualified to comment on, lmao! Last year I added I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovi─ç to the list. I could probably do a List Challenges list on Football Autobiographies I’ve read! Actually, that sounds like a really good idea! Throw in a few biographies too, where they’ve been written by others about players or managers, and I could have quite a list. I have TWO editions of Eric Cantona‘s autobiography! I have the English version, My Story, and the original French edition, Un R├¬ve Modeste et Fou. Both signed by King Eric, I might add! Well, he IS my all-time favourite player!

Also, I have studied French to A Level, so don’t be too surprised at me having books in other languages. I have some books in German, and some in Spanish, too. I’ve studied both those languages to GCSE level. I have a copy of Charlie y la F├íbrica de Chocolate, by Roald Dahl, and Die B├╝cherdiebin, by Markus Zusak, amongst my books in other languages, and I expect you can work out what the English versions of those books are!

Back to footballers for a moment, as the “Great United and Arsenal Player Swap of 2018” finally happened yesterday evening after work permits were renewed! What was originally just going to be a case of shelling out a lot of money for another club’s player turned into a swap deal as they were after one of ours whom, while I was very sad to see him go, I can understand his departure as the manager had messed him around somewhat and not had faith in him despite him being one of Jose’s own signings!┬á I can see why a manager might not always want some of the players he’s inherited from previous managers, but when you buy a player in the transfer window and then muck him around, that’s a bit odd, quite frankly! You signed him, you must have thought he was right for the club!

So, farewell, and good luck, Henrikh Mkhitaryan! I will miss you, and I thank you for your all too brief time at Old Trafford, and for helping us win the EFL Cup and Europa League double last season, particularly for scoring one of our two goals in the Europa League final as we beat Ajax 2-0 in Stockholm in May last year. I will miss singing about our midfield Armenian to the tune of “Englishman in New York” by Sting! Just don’t score against us, please, Mkhi!

On the other hand, Welcome to Old Trafford, Alexis Sanchez! ¡Bienvenidos! The Chilean striker has joined United in a straight swap with Arsenal, and will wear the legendary number 7 shirt, as previously worn by the likes of George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo! Quite a bit to live up to, so I hope he manages to do that!

Ongoing Concerns 23rd January 2018

And back to books! I haven’t started Russian Winters yet, although I have read the foreword by Ryan Giggs, so I look forward to starting on the main book from Andrei himself. Progress has been made, however, on the other books on my Ongoing Concerns list… Not Dead Yet tops the pile, Phil Collins‘ autobiography is at the 76% read stage now, so just under a quarter of it left to read before I give it back to Sarah when we go to see Paul Young at the Preston Guild Hall next month. I might have to get my own copy of Not Dead Yet so I can lend it to people, as I’ve been recommending it of late, including to my dad when we went out for a Japanese meal at Sapporo Teppanyaki in town last week. Wouldn’t be right to lend the book I have now, as that’s Sarah’s and she’s lent it to me, but I am really loving it and want to share that enjoyment of a really good book!

The Time Machine, by H. G. Wells, is next on the list, been reading more of that earlier today, and that’s now up to 68% so we’re over two thirds of the way through that one with a good chance of getting that finished soon along with the Phil Collins book. I think, when I have finished The Time Machine, I’m going to replace it with another by the same author and give The War of the Worlds a go!

My book club book, The Red House Mystery, by A. A. Milne, is next up, and that’s 27% read now, so I’m over a quarter of the way into it, and it’s pleasant and readable enough! As I may have said before, I’m not really one for crime fiction, and I’ll be coming back to that matter shortly, but get me the right book in that genre and I might be persuaded! Book club is 7th February, so I’ve got about a fortnight to get it finished. It may have to become a priority along with Phil Collins.

Hawksmoor, by Peter Ackroyd, is at 10% so I’ve made a start and got my head around the writing style which looks a bit “olde English” in parts. It’s meant to be that way, as some of it is set in 1711 or thereabouts. Other bits are set in 1985, I think it goes back and forth in time. It was mentioned by Duncan Jones when he launched the David Bowie Book Club, and it sounded interesting. I might not read all the books for the DBBC, and I might not get them read in time, but if some sound interesting, I will read them. There are a few unread ones on the list which I already own, such as The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz, so it would make sense to attempt those at least! And there are one or two I have already read, such as 1984, by George Orwell, so those are already ticked off the list! I read that one when I was 17, way back in 1990!

So that then brings us to Andrei Kanchelskis and his Russian Winters which I might make a start on in a short while. By the end of this evening, anyway.

Anyway, some recent acquisitions now, even if that means tonight’s list at the end of the blog is going to be pretty long, lol! Friday saw me at the Trafford Centre, ostensibly to sort out a problem on my phone, which was indeed my first reason for being there after work, and I got that sorted with an O2 Guru before I headed off to my natural habitats… book shops! WH Smiths and Waterstone’s were visited and books were acquired! The Raw Shark Texts, by Steven Hall was on sale for just ┬ú3 at WH Smiths. A slight tear in the cover, but what the hell? Let’s go for it! The Impossible Treble, by Steve Bartram, Paul Davies and Ben Hibbs, was a necessity for a Stretford Ender like myself. That had to be purchased! We also have The Long and Short of It, by Jodi Taylor, The Note, by Zo├ź Folbigg, a tale of a woman falling in love with a book-reading bloke she sees on the train on her daily commute, and also Sirens, by Joseph Knox, which was actually written in the staff room of Waterstone’s Deansgate, where the author was working at the time, and is set in Manchester city centre! As I have said earlier, crime fiction isn’t really my thing, but with the Manc setting, it just might persuade me to give it a go.

I acquired some more books today, 4 for a quid at a charity shop in Swinton, but I think I’d better leave mentioning those until the next blog, as I’ve already listed a fair few books this evening, haven’t I?! I shall get this finished off and published while it is still Andrei’s birthday! Until the next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • Russian Winters – Andrei Kanchelskis
  • Kanchelskis – Andrei Kanchelskis
  • My Story – Paul Scholes
  • Heading For Victory – Steve Bruce
  • I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovi─ç –┬áZlatan Ibrahimovi─ç
  • My Story – Eric Cantona
  • Un R├¬ve Modeste et Fou – Eric Cantona
  • Charlie y la F├íbrica de Chocolate – Roald Dahl
  • Die B├╝cherdiebin – Markus Zusak
  • Not Dead Yet – Phil Collins
  • The Time Machine – H. G. Wells
  • The War of the Worlds – H. G. Wells
  • The Red House Mystery – A. A. Milne
  • Hawksmoor – Peter Ackroyd
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz
  • 1984 – George Orwell
  • The Raw Shark Texts – Steven Hall
  • The Impossible Treble – Steve Bartram, Paul Davies & Ben Hibbs
  • The Long and Short of It – Jodi Taylor
  • The Note – Zo├ź Folbigg
  • Sirens – Joseph Knox

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New Year’s Blog 2018

New Year's Day Book Board 2018

Hello again, Bookworms and Book Dragons,

Happy New Year from Joanne’s Bookshelf! You’ll be pleased to learn that there’ll be none of that new year new me crap from Chief Bookworm! I’ll still be the same sarcastic, cynical, foodie, footy-loving, 80s nut and bookworm that you’ve always known! Not giving up any booze or going vegan or any of that malarkey!

I think, if you are doing one of those things, it would actually be best NOT to tell anyone. Firstly, so that no-one thinks you’re a bore about it, and secondly, I find that if you tell people your plans, they all seem hell-bent on ruining them for you! So, do what you want to do anyway, give up what you’re giving up, but don’t tell people unless you can trust them not to be an arsehole to you! They can’t rain on your parade if you don’t tell them the route!

Anyway, the Goodreads Challenge is in place for 2018, and the List Challenges lists were set up in the wee small hours! 2017’s lists have been published and 2018’s have been created. Obviously, the Joanne’s Bookshelf Blog one is the main one connected with my waffle on here – any books I mention on here during the course of 2018 go on that list and then the list is published at the end of the year. Also, my new Handbag Books list has been created, as has Books Jo Read in 2018, although obviously that’s a blank at the moment until I finish off some reading matter.

I have put a few books in the handbag, though! The current book club book, Hot Milk, by Deborah Levy, is in there, and I have also added The Time Machine, by H. G. Wells, and Mort, by the late great Sir Terry Pratchett, the 4th Discworld novel, to the purple Kipling bag. Those are fairly small and slim. I suppose I could fit Not Dead Yet, by Phil Collins into the handbag, but it’s a hardback, and quite chunky, so that’s staying here. I still intend to get through it in time to give it back to Sarah when she and I go to see Paul Young next month.

Half time at Goodison Park: Everton 0 Manchester United 0. Zzzzzzzzz!

Yawn! Jose has to go. Sick to death of this “bus parking” crap! I think the players are, too! We need a manager who lets the players go forward and attack – that’s the United way! I was hopeful at the start of this season, when we had some nice 4-0 wins, that things were going to be better than last year’s tedious shite (don’t start me on all those 1-1 draws), but in recent times, we have gone back to being shite again, and that’s a technical term! As I can’t really expect Sir Alex to come out of retirement, I feel we need someone else who is Red to his boots to come in and sort things out. Just that change of manager, someone with hunger and desire for the club to be back to winning the league again, would be enough to filter through to the players. They would respond positively to this and give opponents a damn good stuffing, as they are capable of! Yes, defend if you absolutely have to, but otherwise we should be attacking as often as possible!

Anyway, back to the books, and obviously the priorities are the Deborah Levy and Phil Collins books, but what else should I read in 2018? As I’ve mentioned, I’ve put a couple of books in the handbag, fresh ones I’ve not previously started, but I will aim to get some others resumed and finished off this year which I started previously. I started, so I’ll finish, as Magnus Magnusson used to say on Mastermind, lol!

Second half under way at Goodison Park. Come on you Reds! Come on, stick the ball in the net, you know you want to!

Sorry, yes, books…┬á Thinking of some of the books which remained unfinished last year, I could go back to Neither Here Nor There, by Bill Bryson, and A Quiet Kind of Thunder, by Sara Barnard. I had also said that I would resume Manchester England, by Dave Haslam, but that didn’t happen in 2017.

Sings: All we are saying…. is give us a goal!

I could read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. That one sounds quite funny, and not too long. I am back in work tomorrow. I’m going to have to fit reading in around being back in the office full-time. I have set a Goodreads Challenge target of 30 books, which is what I set for 2017.

Yesssss! Get in! Everton 0 Manchester United 1 – Anthony Martial 57 minutes! ­čśÇ

Tony Martial came from France, English press said he had no chance! Fifty million down the drain… Tony Martial scores again!

Er, sorry, where was I?! Yeah, the Goodreads Challenge and the fact that I’m back in work tomorrow. My cold is mostly over, although still some catarrh, so I might have to go to Boots after work for catarrh pastilles, and an annoying cough yet again. I can be OK for a while, but then have an epic coughing fit and wonder when it’s going to stop!

I’ve just had a look at the bass amp book tower. Quite a lot of the books on my bass amp are hardbacks in need of either reading, or resuming! I’ve already got a hardback as an Ongoing Concern at the moment, though, that being Not Dead Yet, by Phil Collins. However, I could do with getting more of that pile read. Possibly Anger Is An Energy, by John Lydon, as I started that some time ago and got some way into it before being distracted by another book or suffering a reading slump. Another hardback autobiography, albeit not on the bass amp, is Chapter and Verse, by Bernard Sumner, of Joy Division, New Order and Electronic fame. As with the John Lydon book, I started it some time ago, and it needs to be resumed, lol!

If United could get a second goal, that would be very nice. Hint, hint, Reds!

Talking of football, there’s one book on the bass amp which I HAVE read, it was on my 2016 list, that being The Rules of the Game, by Pierluigi Collina, the former referee. I actually also have Who’s the B*****d in the Black? by Jeff Winter, a paperback, lurking near Computer Corner.

GOAL!!! Everton 0 Manchester United 2! Jesse Lingard 81 minutes. ­čśÇ

So, there I am, waffling on about referees’ autobiographies and Jesse Lingard doubles our lead! Excellent! Just noticed on the covers of those ref books… Collina is only giving someone a booking, showing a yellow card, but Jeff Winter is brandishing a red card, giving someone the order of the early bath! Parking the bus should be given the red card! Oh, and Pogba needs to play further forward ALL THE TIME from now on!

Full-time: Everton 0 Manchester United 2 ­čÖé

Probably about time I also blew the final whistle on this blog entry and got it published, so until the next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • Hot Milk – Deborah Levy
  • The Time Machine – H. G. Wells
  • Mort – Sir Terry Pratchett
  • Not Dead Yet – Phil Collins
  • Neither Here Nor There – Bill Bryson
  • A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard
  • Manchester, England – Dave Haslam
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? – Mindy Kaling
  • Anger is an Energy – John Lydon
  • Chapter and Verse – Bernard Sumner
  • The Rules of the Game – Pierluigi Collina
  • Who’s the B*****d in the Black? – Jeff Winter

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December and 2017 Review

Books 44 and 45 of 2017

Hello again, fellow Bookworms!

With a few days of 2017 left, the ol’ Badger’s Arse Syndrome has struck again, and I have a cold, which I need to shift by the weekend as United are at home again on Saturday, against Southampton, and then Sunday is New Year’s Eve, so I’m out for a meal with Mum to let in 2018! This cold can, quite frankly, do one! Bugger off, cold! I really don’t need this crap! I already had a cold in October and needed time off work, so just sod off and leave me the hell alone! Take your stinking germs and piss off!

I have been productive on the book front in recent days, though, getting a couple more finished off, hence I have reached 45 for the year. I think that’s fair enough really, especially as my Goodreads Challenge was originally 30, so I have exceeded it by another 15! Not sure about the coming year. I will probably only set a low target, as I am working full time certainly up to and including March, and I hope that they will want me to stay on after that. Work provides the money to buy books, but it does mean that you have to fit the actual reading around your working life! Thus I will not be setting a big target for 2018. Possibly 25 or 30.

Anyway, let’s get on with what I have read this year, and to round off the reading, I finished off Mr Dickens and His Carol, by Samantha Silva, and The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k, by Sarah Knight. This has taken me, as I said, to 45 books for the year. I could probably publish my list of books read this year on List Challenges now. I can’t see myself finishing a 46th book before we let in 2018! I guess, if I hadn’t come down with a cold, I might have felt I could manage another one and make it 46, but realistically, even if I’d not been germ-ridden, I could start a book, but it probably wouldn’t be finished until some time in January at the earliest.

I can get on with Hot Milk, by Deborah Levy, I guess, if I am feeling up to it, and get going with that. It’s only a fairly short book, but book club is on 10th January, so I should get cracking, really!

Perhaps I should make a start on Not Dead Yet, by Phil Collins – Sarah lent it to me in the summer when we went to see the Pet Shop Boys in Blackpool, and I have got another gig on the horizon thanks to my friend – my main Christmas present from Sarah was a ticket to see Paul Young at the Preston Guild Hall on 15th February! I have already booked a half day off work for that day, so I can finish at lunchtime, go home and get ready to go to Preston later. China Crisis are the support act, so all very 1980s, which is how I like it, lol!

I bought a few books for members of my family for Christmas, and I got a Waterstone’s gift card, so I can go out and get more books, lol, but that’s fair enough – Those who know me well know that I have rather a lot of books (a slight understatement, lol), so it’s best to get me a gift card rather than buy me a book I might already own. One of the books I bought was Only Fools and Stories, by Sir David Jason, for my mum. I couldn’t exactly mention that in any pre-Christmas blogs, but I can mention it now! My sister certainly reads my blogs when I share them onto Facebook. At times, especially when Reuben was very little and she was up at silly o’clock feeding him, she would read my blogs then! I got him a couple of Christmasssy books from the Usborne “That’s Not My…” series, namely That’s Not My Santa, and That’s Not My Elf.

So, what were my favourite reads of 2017 from the 45 books I managed to read, or at least finish off during the course of the year? Here are some stats for the year and some favourite books…

Goodreads Challenge Set: 30

Books Read in 2017: 45

Authors Met in 2017: 2, Stuart Maconie and Adam Kay

Favourite Non-Fiction: This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay

Favourite Fiction: The Good People – Hannah Kent

Favourite Young Adult: One Italian Summer – Keris Stainton

Favourite Children’s: Esio Trot – Roald Dahl

Reminder of a Holiday: The Saffron Trail – Rosanna Ley. Reminded me of my holiday in Marrakech, Morocco, in November 2016.

Wembley Books: The Pie at Night – Stuart Maconie, and Premier League Years 1992/93 – Andrew Hyslop, read on the coach going to and coming back from the EFL Cup Final in February, which United won 3-2 vs Southampton. Two goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovi─ç and one from Jesse Lingard. Zlatan’s second goal, three minutes from time, was the decider, as we had gone 2-0 up only for the Saints to take advantage of our decidedly dodgy defending by getting back to 2-2.

Having looked back on 2017, we need to look ahead. I know I have already mentioned two books, one for my book club, and one my friend lent me in the summer, but what else do I think I might read in 2018? There will, of course, be other book club books, and there is no accounting for what those might be, lol, but of the stacks of stuff I have here, what should I read? Perhaps some relatively short books, such as The Outsiders, by S. E. Hinton, which I did make a start on this year, and possibly some H.G. Wells – I have both The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds lurking here near Computer Corner, lol!

At the other end of the size scale, there are a few chunky monkeys I could attempt, and I could always return to the Shardlake Series by C. J. Sansom, having read Dissolution earlier this year, and get on with the second in that series, Dark Fire. Maybe some classics, maybe some modern classics, perhaps 2018 will be the year I finally read some books which have been hanging around for years waiting for me to read them?! Maybe I will read I Know This Much Is True, by Wally Lamb – probably while thinking of the Spandau Ballet song “True” as I think of it every time I even SEE my copy of that book, so I will probably think of it all the time if I am actually reading it!

As I’ve said many times, I’m an 80s nut, so it’s to be expected, really! Actually, talking of Spandau Ballet, I’ve got Martin Kemp‘s autobiography, True, lurking in my room, so I could read that as well. I read Gary Kemp‘s autobiography, I Know This Much, earlier this year, which Sarah had lent me, so I could always read his brother’s book in the coming year! As I said earlier, though, I think the Phil Collins autobiography would have to be a priority.┬á One book I like the sound of, but have yet to purchase, is the Bruce Dickinson autobiography, What Does This Button Do? I have a feeling that my friend might have that one, so I could always end up borrowing it from her some time in the not too distant future!

Anyway, I have just looked at my list of books mentioned on this blog during the course of 2017, and the Bruce Dickinson autobiography takes us up to a whopping 541 different books mentioned this year! So, when I publish this list, as I will be doing shortly, there should be a nice long list on List Challenges for you to get stuck into! A huge, very random list of books with probably something for everyone! Fiction, non-fiction, autobiographies, biographies, young adult, children’s books, science fiction, classics, comedy, football, music…┬á I will be starting a new list in the new year for everything I mention on here in 2018, so until I blog again, as it is very unlikely to be before January, lol, I wish you all a Happy and book-filled New Year! Take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • Mr Dickens and His Carol – Samantha Silva
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k – Sarah Knight
  • Hot Milk – Deborah Levy
  • Not Dead Yet – Phil Collins
  • Only Fools and Stories – Sir David Jason
  • This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay
  • The Good People – Hannah Kent
  • One Italian Summer – Keris Stainton
  • Esio Trot – Roald Dahl
  • The Saffron Trail – Rosanna Ley
  • The Pie at Night – Stuart Maconie
  • Premier League Years 1992/93 – Andrew Hyslop
  • The Outsiders – S. E. Hinton
  • The Time Machine – H. G. Wells
  • The War of the Worlds – H. G. Wells
  • Dissolution – C. J. Sansom
  • Dark Fire – C. J. Sansom
  • I Know This Much Is True – Wally Lamb
  • True – Martin Kemp
  • I Know This Much – Gary Kemp
  • What Does This Button Do? – Bruce Dickinson

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Book Review of the Year…

Hello there, fellow Bookworms!

There is less than a fortnight left of 2017, ladies and gentlemen, Sir Mo Farah was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year at the weekend, so I think it’s only fair if we do some sort of Book Review of the Year round about now! I might just get one or two more books read before the year is out, as I am currently enjoying The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k, by Sarah Knight, and I have started on Mr Dickens and His Carol, by Samantha Silva, so I could get to 44 or even 45 books before we let in 2018! I finished The Good People a few nights ago, so that took me to 43 for the year. I’d quite like at least one more, to make it 44 so I’ve read my age in books, lol!

As most of you probably know by now, I’m hardly the world’s biggest fan of self-help books, but when a book comes along to encourage people to stop giving needless f**ks about things they really don’t care about, or don’t want to do, I am all for that! Indeed, I feel that I’ve already been reducing the number of f**ks I give since I hit my 40s! So I am happy to get on board with that! Also, it’s not ableist. Whether fully able-bodied, or with any kind of disability or health condition, anyone is capable of ceasing to give a f**k about completely pointless things! Things they can’t do, things they don’t enjoy, things they don’t want to do, things they don’t want to know about! You don’t need to be fully-able bodied in order to give zero f**ks about the Kardashians, for instance!

I started the year off by finishing off Pear Shaped, an e-book autobiography by Adam Blain, I think I’d got it for free on my Kindle. Anyway, he was writing about his brain tumour, hence the title, but he has since recovered, I am delighted to say. There have been a few books which I have started in a previous year, but finished off in 2017, most notably Jamrach’s Menagerie, by Carol Birch, Mother Tongue, by Bill Bryson, Periodic Tales, by Hugh Aldersey-Williams, and Pet Shop Boys, Literally, by Chris Heath, which I read this summer to coincide with my 30th anniversary of becoming a Pethead! Also, I saw them twice in concert this year – in February here in Manchester, and in June in Blackpool, home town of keyboard player, Chris Lowe.

Actually, today, 19th December, it is 30 years since “Always On My Mind” hit the top spot in the UK charts to become the Christmas Number One for 1987! Other notable 30th anniversaries in December are the release of my all-time favourite Christmas record, “Fairytale of New York” by the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl, which reached number 2 in the charts behind Neil and Chris, and it is also 30 years since one of the most sensible things my dad ever did… 30 years since he gave up smoking! He had the flu at the time, a really bad strain of it, and lighting his pipe gave him an epic coughing fit, so he gave up to get over the flu, and by the time he was well again, in early 1988, he realised he hadn’t smoked for about 2 or 3 weeks, and he just never went back to it.

February saw me going down to Wembley, as you may recall, to see Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2 in the League Cup Final, and when United booked their place in the final, I was trying to decide which books to take down with me on the coach for the journey to Wembley, and the return to Old Trafford. The book I read on the way down was The Pie at Night, by Stuart Maconie, but with the coach’s reading lights not working on the journey home, I had to resort to my Kindle, and thus Premier League Years 1992/93 by Andrew Hyslop was my reading matter on the way back, detailing Manchester United’s first Premier League title as we ended our 26 year wait to be champions.

I later got The Pie at Night signed, along with Long Road from Jarrow, when I met Stuart Maconie at Waterstone’s in July. Not read the Jarrow book yet, but I did read The People’s Songs earlier this year, so two books by Mr Maconie made my Goodreads Challenge list!

* Excuse me a mo… Chief Bookworm needs a drink – back shortly *

Right, back again! Sorry about that! Anyway, March was notable for my decision to read Tuesdays With Morrie once a week, each Tuesday!┬áApril brought about Billy Ocean in concert, jury service and my birthday, making me an old gimmer of 44, lol! I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovi─ç was finished off that month, as was An Equal Music, by Vikram Seth. Adrian Mole, the diary-writing character created by the late great Sue Townsend, celebrated his┬á 50th birthday in April, and Penguin actually published a book of the poems Adrian wrote! The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 starts off in January 1981, so he was 14 on 2nd April that year. I was 8 three weeks later in real life! Thus, yes, Adrian is 6 years older than me. The first couple of Adrian Mole books are around 33 years old, or so, as they came out around 1984 if I’m not mistaken. I probably got my copies of the first two books around 1985, aged 12. Pretty sure that one of the kids at Salford Trampoline Club recommended them to me, possibly Tammy, as my sister had started training there by then.

Actually, earlier in 2017, around February, I revisited my 12 year old self in a blog thanks to an idea from Facebook. Someone had asked which 12 books would you give to your 12 year old self, so Joanne from 2017 visited Joanne from 1985 with a dozen books from her future!

From early July to early September, we had the Book Benches scattered around Manchester with a trail map so that you could go and find them. I was actually volunteering at Manchester Cathedral’s bookshop at the time, so was right at the heart of things, and saw book benches in the cathedral, in the Arndale Centre, and in the National Football Museum. Pretty sure I saw a book bench the other week, actually – at the Lowry outlet centre on Salford Quays, so maybe one or two have stuck around after the event, as we’re in December now and it’s nearly Christmas! The book bench event actually ended just after I started my job at Salford Council in early September. Watch out for the giant bees in town in the summer of 2018! Manchester will be truly buzzin’!

I read a few children’s books this year, as you might expect given that my niece, Charlotte, aka Junior Bookworm, likes her auntie to know what she’s reading, and wants me to enjoy some of her books! In 2017 I was able to add Esio Trot to the list of Roald Dahl books that I have read! Charlotte was reading The Twits not long ago, which was one of Ellie’s favourites as a kid! Sadly, we said rest in peace to Dick Bruna back in February when the Dutch author, famous for the Miffy books, passed away. As with the Roald Dahl books, Bruna’s tales of Miffy the rabbit were part of mine and my sister’s childhood, albeit before the Dahl… Miffy books were borrowed from Eccles Library when we were little and first learning to read.

On the other hand, we wished many happy returns to Stephen King, as the prolific author, famed particularly for his horror novels, hit his Big 70 in September, shortly after my dad hit his Big 70! As you may recall, my pressie for my dad was that big chunky biography of spy thriller author, John le Carr├ę. I hit the hundred book blogs milestone earlier this year, back in March, I think, and I currently have 72 followers, so thank you to all of you who subscribe to this blog full of book mentions and other mad and random waffle, lol!

A few YA books made my Goodreads Challenge list, as I read One Italian Summer, by Keris Stainton, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by Jesse Andrews, and If I Stay, by Gayle Forman. Although I don’t have an out and out favourite genre, unlike many bookworms, I will say that I like a bit of historical fiction, and there were a few novels on the list which come into that category, including The Ashes of London, by Andrew Taylor, Dissolution, by C. J. Sansom, and The Good People, by Hannah Kent. That is my most recent finish, of course, but as I said earlier, I am hoping for one or two more before the year is over.

I had quite a non-fiction binge in the autumn, but I do like factual reads anyway! It was that which led to my second author event of the year and my choice for favourite book of the year… the wonderful This is Going to Hurt, by Adam Kay. Moving in parts, but utterly hilarious in others, you would be taking a huge risk by reading it in public, unless you don’t mind some odd looks while you laugh your arse off! The Angry Chef, by Anthony Warner, was a very good, quite witty, and pretty important book, one which as many people as possible should read in order that they stop falling for faddy diets and other con tricks on the internet!

Well, those are most of the highlights of my year in books. I hope to get at least a few more blogs in before the month, and the year, are over. I have actually blogged every month this year, which is a first. Prior to 2017, my blogging had been very patchy at times, long times went by without a blog. However, there have been blogs every month. I shall now bring this particular entry to a close, so until I blog again, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry…

  • The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k – Sarah Knight
  • Mr Dickens and His Carol – Samantha Silva
  • Pear Shaped – Adam Blain
  • Jamrach’s Menagerie – Carol Birch
  • Mother Tongue – Bill Bryson
  • Periodic Tales – Hugh Aldersey-Williams
  • Pet Shop Boys, Literally – Chris Heath
  • The Pie at Night – Stuart Maconie
  • Premier League Years 1992/93 – Andrew Hyslop
  • Long Road from Jarrow – Stuart Maconie
  • The People’s Songs – Stuart Maconie
  • I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovi─ç –┬áZlatan Ibrahimovi─ç
  • An Equal Music – Vikram Seth
  • The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 – Sue Townsend
  • Esio Trot – Roald Dahl
  • The Twits – Roald Dahl
  • One Italian Summer – Keris Stainton
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews
  • If I Stay – Gayle Forman
  • The Ashes of London – Andrew Taylor
  • Dissolution – C. J. Sansom
  • The Good People – Hannah Kent
  • This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay
  • The Angry Chef – Anthony Warner

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